Long weekend helps ailing Packers

Key players return to practice

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery suffered broken ribs early in the Sept. 28 game against the Chicago Bears. Montgomery has practiced this week with extra padding around his ribs.

After an injury-ridden first quarter of the season, the Green Bay Packers could have some key players back Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Packers had a long weekend to recover after the Sept. 28 win over the Chicago Bears. The much-needed rest allowed several players, including starting tackles David
Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle), to get back on the practice field this week.

“I think it was a pretty big help,” Bulaga said. “Ankle’s feeling better. … Still got some issues I’m working through, but overall, it’s doing all right.”

It also gave Ty Montgomery, who suffered broken ribs against Chicago, and Davante Adams, who was concussed, more time to heal. There’s a possibility both will suit up on Sunday.

“Davante is progressing very well,” head coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week. “He’s moving along and we’ll do more at practice this week. So that’s a positive sign based on his work.”

Adams is still in concussion protocol and will need to be cleared by an independent neurologist prior to playing, but teammates feel positive about his return.

“We all came back on Tuesday, and he was in good spirits,” Aaron Rodgers said. “He felt good, and his neck felt good, and that was really encouraging.”

This isn’t Adams’ first time clearing a concussion unusually fast. Last season, he sustained a concussion against the Cowboys and was cleared in under a week.

“He can recover from those rapidly, apparently,” fellow receiver Jordy Nelson said. “It’s good to have him back out there.”

Montgomery practiced this week with a protective vest around his ribs. No decision has been made on if he’ll play Sunday, but he’s practicing as though he will.

“He practiced well yesterday (Wednesday) and he’s going to practice today,” McCarthy said. “We’ll keep evaluating him, but he’s looking good.”

Key defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hip) and cornerback Davon House (quad), who were inactive against Chicago, were also limited in practice.

Although there are 11 Packers on the injury report, only linebacker Joe Thomas (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday.

Running back Jamaal Williams (ankle) and cornerback Quinten Rollins (ankle) were full participants. Linebackers Nick Perry (hand) and Ahmad Brooks (back) were limited.

The players returned to padded practices for the first time in two weeks. With players getting healthier, McCarthy is ready to amp up practices for the second quarter of the season.

“Everybody is progressing, but we need to practice, we need to push one another more and we need to improve,” McCarthy said. “These past four weeks have established a baseline, but it’s important to really get after these padded practices now.”