GREEN BAY – Jeff Janis was sprinting full speed returning the opening kickoff of the second half Sunday when a glancing blow wiped him out.
From the side, New York Giants running back Dwayne Harris’ helmet smacked against Janis’ thigh. The force flipped him upside down, jarring the football loose when Janis hit the ground.
Janis played the rest of the game, though he was “still limping a little bit” with a bruised thigh. He even dropped back for another kickoff return, though the football sailed to Packers running back Christine Michael.
“It happened earlier in the game,” special teams coordinator Ron Zook said Thursday, “and he played the whole game. I was kind of proud of him for that fact. They said it was a legitimate thigh bruise, but he practiced today and did well. So I feel pretty good about that right now.”
Janis returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's session because of the thigh injury. He said the swelling in his thigh loosened up and made a big difference Thursday.
“I think on Sunday I’ll be just about 100 percent,” Janis said.
Janis had one of his best games of the season against the Giants. He had a season-long 33-yard kickoff return in the first half that helped flip field position.
A healthy Janis would be important to the Packers' special teams when they travel to Dallas for their NFC divisional-round playoff game.
“Jeff Janis is one of our best special teams players,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Played extremely well in the Giants game. He’s doing good things at the wide receiver position. He’s played situational football for us. He’s done something with different personnel grounds. He’s obviously a core player for us. It’ll be good to get him back.”
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