Notebook: Packers CB Dorleant ready for debut

Michael Cohen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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GREEN BAY - Cornerback Makinton Dorleant was added to the active roster last week when the Green Bay Packers tabbed him as their player designated to return from injured reserve.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Makinton Dorleant (20) during minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field.

But Dorleant was inactive against the Houston Texans and remains eager for his NFL debut.

"It’s surreal because I didn’t know what was going to happen," Dorleant said. "Just excited about the opportunity, obviously, of being able to contribute in any way I can, and we’ll see what happens from here."

An undrafted free agent from Northern Iowa, Dorleant suffered a hamstring injury during the second half of training camp after an impressive first few weeks. He made the 53-man roster anyway but was soon placed on injured reserve.

The injury, which Dorleant called a strain, likely was healed several weeks before his activation. Dorleant waited patiently as the Packers received more detailed updates on cornerback Sam Shields and tailback Eddie Lacy, two prime candidates to return from injured reserve were they to be healthy in time to contribute.

"I didn’t really necessarily think I was not going to be the guy to come back, I just had to make sure I was ready if it happened," Dorleant said. "I just knew that we had other guys on there, obviously veteran guys that if they could possibly come back they would probably be the one. But I never had that out of my mind that I wasn’t going to come back. That’s why I made sure I was ready: being in meetings, making sure I was working out hard and keeping ahead of the game."

With the return of corner Damarious Randall from groin surgery, Dorleant is most likely to contribute on special teams, where his 4.39-second speed caught the attention of coaches during training camp.

However, Dorleant took reps with the defense in practice Wednesday rather than serving as a member of the scout team.

"Whatever they want me at I’m going to have to contribute to the best of my ability," he said. "Whatever game plan they have I have to go out there and execute, whether it’s special teams or defense. Just make sure I’m ready, I’m focused and I put in the time like every other guy in the locker room and make sure I execute like every other guy is going t

Doing his part

Outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott was nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the league announced Wednesday. One player was chosen from each of the 32 teams.

As the latest nominee, Elliott takes over for former Packers linebacker Sam Barrington, who was nominated in 2015. Rodgers was a finalist for the award in 2014.

Elliott found out about the nomination when he arrived in the locker room Wednesday morning and saw the plaque sitting in his locker.

"It’s a unique honor, I’m very blessed," Elliott said. "Once again, I couldn’t do it without being a Green Bay Packer so I’m thankful for Ted Thompson and Mark Murphy. Sam Barrington, he challenged me to get out in the community, and I just wanted to follow his footsteps."

Three of the 32 nominees will be chosen as finalists for the award. The winner is announced in January 2017.

Injury report

CB LaDarius Gunter (illness), OLB Kyler Fackrell (hamstring) and OLB Julius Peppers (not injury related) did not practice Wednesday.

Though he didn't participate, Peppers was seen off to the side of the practice field. It's likely the coaches gave him the day off.

DT Letroy Guion (shoulder), ILB Blake Martinez (knee), Randall (groin), ILB Jake Ryan (ankle) and center/guard JC Tretter (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

For the Seahawks, TE Jimmy Graham (not injury related), DE Damontre Moore (foot), LB Mike Morgan (hip), RB C.J. Prosise (shoulder), DT Ahtyba Rubin (not injury related) and FB Will Tukuafu (concussion) did not practice.

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