There still are more questions than answers about the status of Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, T.J. Lang among others, but the Green Bay Packers appear close to operating at full capacity in their secondary.
Both Charles Woodson (collarbone) and Sam Shields (ankle) returned to practice in a limited capacity on Wednesday, representing the only missing pieces from a secondary that’s been one of the team’s healthiest and deepest positions throughout this season.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday that Woodson was probably a “week
away” from returning to the field after breaking his collarbone against St. Louis on Oct. 21, putting him in line to return for the team’s trip to Chicago on Dec. 16.
However, the 36-year-old defensive back took part during in some competitive and team drills Wednesday, and said they plan to keep evaluating him through the week.
On the other hand, Shields said he wants to play Sunday against Detroit after missing the past six weeks with a high-ankle sprain.
Practicing for the first time Wednesday, Shields said he felt no pain in his cuts and while running. What is uncertain is what Shields’ role will be with the maturation of rookie Casey Hayward and second-year Davon House, who have been filling Shields’ spot as the starting cornerback opposite Tramon Williams.
“It felt like I’ve been out a year now, so I’m just happy to be back out there,” Shields said. “Just doing what they want me to do right now –special teams, playing a lot on that. Just the opportunity I get again, just taking advantage of it.”