Michael Cohen and Aaron Nagler discuss two new injuries on the Packers' initial injury report for their showdown with the Bengals and read the tea leaves on Ricky Jean Francois' return. (Sept. 20, 2017)
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy moved practice back two hours Wednesday, perhaps hoping to squeeze a little more healing time into the team's weekly practice schedule.
He needed every second he could get.
The Packers listed 13 players on their mid-week injury report, eight of whom did not practice.
The good news for McCarthy was that right tackle Bryan Bulaga returned to practice after missing the first two games with a right ankle injury and receiver Jordy Nelson took part despite dropping out of the game Sunday against Atlanta with a thigh injury. In addition, linebacker Ahmad Brooks (concussion), was cleared to practice.
All three were listed as full participants.
The bad news was that receiver Randall Cobb (chest), left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring), defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hip), safety Kentrell Brice (groin), cornerback Davon House (thigh), linebacker Nick Perry (hand), linebacker Jake Ryan (unspecified) and tackle Jason Spriggs (hamstring) did not participate.
Guard Jahri Evans (groin) and defensive tackle Montravious Adams (foot) were listed but were full participants.
It's not the most McCarthy has ever had missing from a practice, but it's enough to make it difficult to get done what a coach really needs following a 34-23 loss. McCarthy had to alter the length of practice while still focusing in on the same things as he normally does on Wednesday in preparation for the Cincinnati Bengals.
The portion of practice open to the media was mostly a long jog-through where players went half-speed through the plays.
"Today is really a response to playing on Sunday night and the late return and the injuries that occurred in the game," McCarthy said. "Our focus is on the uncommon opponent in the Bengals, but we have a lot of work to do ourselves."
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers took a couple of nasty hits in the loss, but he was not on the injury report.
"I feel good," Rodgers said. "I felt good with my wind. Maybe a little tired after the game Week 1. Week 2, I felt really good. I’m good going forward."
McCarthy s said he would still attempt to practice Thursday in pads and was hopeful he'd have more players available. The injuries that present the most concern at this point would appear to be with Daniels, Bakhtiari and Perry.
Daniels' injury was referred to as a hamstring on Sunday, but he the injury listed on the report is a hip. Heading into the Atlanta game, Daniels was added to the injury report during the week with a hip injury, which likely means he aggravated it against the Falcons.
The return of Bulaga would provide a boost to the offense. Sidelined since Aug. 23 with a right ankle sprain, Bulaga took all his usual snaps at right tackle and did his best to catch up both physically and mentally.
"It was a positive start," Bulaga said. "I was able to move around with not too much restricted movement. It was a positive. We'll see how it feels when I wake up and have the doc look at it."
Bulaga's big hurdle will be making it through the padded practice Thursday.
If Bakhtiari can't play for a second-straight week, second-year pro Kyle Murphy would likely replace him based on the way he held up against the Falcons. It wouldn't make too much sense to move Bulaga when he's still trying to get his feet back under him at right tackle.
If Bulaga can't play, it would be expected that guard Justin McCray would fill in for a second straight week.
Nelson said that he suffered a bruise to his thigh and has been working to get the swelling down. He said he rode the bicycle on the sideline against the Falcons with every intention of returning to the game, but the swelling would not go down.
He said he was doing much better Wednesday.
"Feel good," he said. "Better than probably what I think I and some other people in this building thought I would, so we're progressing the right way. It was great to get back out there and run around, and everything felt good."
House said he left the Falcons game late when his thigh muscle tightened up. Asked if he thought he caught the injury in time before making it significantly worse, he said be believed so.
"I don't think it's that bad," he said, adding that it would be the medical staff's decision when or if to clear him. "I really haven't done too much to test it."