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Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives Aaron Nagler the latest from Lambeau Field on running backs Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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GREEN BAY – For the first time since tearing his MCL in a Nov. 12 game at the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers rookie running back Aaron Jones practiced Wednesday.

Jones missed the previous two games with the knee injury, which happened when his knee twisted while being tackled early in the game. He had assumed the starting running back job before the injury.

The Packers backfield could get a big boost if he returns Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and joins fellow rookie Jamaal Williams, who has played well the past two weeks replacing Jones.

The Packers defense also got a boost Wednesday. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews (groin) and defensive tackle Kenny Clark (ankle) practiced for the first time since leaving the Packers loss to the Baltimore Ravens prematurely on Nov. 19. Both were inactive Sunday at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Clark, especially, has been fortunate to avoid serious injury after being rolled up in a pile against the Ravens.

The Packers were without rookie cornerback Kevin King (shoulder) and running back Ty Montgomery (ribs).

The Packers also signed a player to their practice squad. Ahmad Thomas, an undrafted rookie linebacker out of Oklahoma, was added before Wednesday's practice. At 6-foot, 220 pounds, Thomas is an undersized linebacker who might fit the mold of a hybrid player in subpackage defenses. He previously had a brief stint with the Oakland Raiders in May.

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