ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Night games were the toughest. After preparing like a starter all week, Packers safety Chris Banjo would have all day to think about kickoff.
When it came, Banjo wasn't even wearing his uniform. Or, worse, on away games he wouldn't even be inside the stadium.
That's life for a practice squad player. The paycheck is nice, but the thankless grind tests a young player's patience. It was that way for Banjo, who was relegated to the practice squad after playing all 16 games last season.
"You have your juices flowing every game, but Monday night, Sunday night games where you have all day to really think about it probably got to me a little bit more than others," Banjo said. "For the most part, it was something I just battled with all season. Just seeing us winning week in and week out helped me really be, I guess you could say, motivated."
Banjo got in his first game of the season in Sunday's loss at the Buffalo Bills. He didn't take long to make a play, downing the football at the Bills' 2-yard line at the end of the first half.
Banjo said he found out he'd be promoted to the active roster early last week. He replaced linebacker Jamari Lattimore, who was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
"I just thank God that I still have an opportunity to be part of something so special in Green Bay," Banjo said. "The guys here, the coaches, the front office — everybody is world class here. It's just an amazing blessing to be a part of it. I was down for whatever would be for the better cause of the team."
• In addition to right tackle Bryan Bulaga's concussion, linebacker Nick Perry injured his shoulder on the first series of the second half but returned in the fourth quarter.
• When Buffalo's Marcus Thigpen returned a Tim Masthay punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, it was the first time the Packers gave up a punt return for a touchdown since New Orleans' Darren Sproles returned one 72 yards for a touchdown in the 2011 season opener at Lambeau Field.
• Tim Masthay's six punts tied a season-high recorded in Game 5 vs. Minnesota.