GREEN BAY - For the first time in a year, the Green Bay Packers took the practice field with a No. 39 jersey jogging and cutting through the fray. Twelve long months had passed since its owner, cornerback Demetri Goodson, suffered a torn ACL during a loss to Washington, and after a lengthy rehab process, the medical staff finally cleared him earlier this week.
“It felt so good, man,” Goodson said. “My body needed that, too. Being out for a whole year, people don’t know how tough that was. The knee felt great. It actually caught me off guard how good I felt out there.
“The whole process, you know, you’re going to have your good and bad weeks. Days you feel good, days you feel bad. Mentally just coming in every day doing the same thing for a whole year was tough. But it’s definitely paid off for me big time, because I feel good right now.”
The last time many Packers fans saw Goodson, he was being carted off the field in Washington with his left leg in shambles. Goodson had been blocking for punt returner Randall Cobb when an opposing player fell into his knee from the side, causing the leg to bend at an unnatural angle. The severity of the injury was obvious.
Goodson remained in Green Bay for the rehab process and spent nearly every day at Lambeau Field working with the medical staff. He practiced for the first time Wednesday and returned to the field for a padded practice Thursday.
“It was great to see Demetri out there," coach Mike McCarthy said. "Hopefully he keeps progressing. It’s been a long road. Everybody was excited to see him back to flying around. It’s been a long recovery.”
The Packers have a three-week window to evaluate Goodson in practice while he remains on the physically unable to perform list. At the end of those three weeks, general manager Ted Thompson will make a decision whether to activate Goodson, cut him or place him on injured reserve.
“They just said that they’re going to take their time with me,” Goodson said. “But the way I’m feeling, man, I could definitely be ready in a couple more weeks probably.
“I try not to think about (job security) stuff, man. That’s something that I can’t control. That would be just a waste of time for me trying to figure out what people are thinking. All I tried to do is just concentrate on me and come in every single day and just work hard.”