Packers activate running back Kylin Hill; Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard practice Wednesday
GREEN BAY − The Green Bay Packers activated second-year running back Kylin Hill on Wednesday, elevating him from the physically unable to perform list to the 53-man roster.
Hill first returned to practice three weeks ago, opening a 21-day window that ended Wednesday for him to be activated. The club released running back Patrick Taylor on Tuesday, opening a roster spot for Hill.
Whether on special teams or in the backfield, Hill brings a dynamic to the offense that the Packers were counting on this season. Hill tore his ACL in his 2021 rookie season bringing out a kickoff from the back of the end zone in Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Mississippi State alum has spent the better part of the past year recovering.
“Basically just staying patient, just watching everybody do what they do,” Hill said last month. "Missing a game, just like I said, staying patient, obviously was the hardest part. I feel like as a competitor, everybody is gonna want to come back early. But I just trust the trainers and what they had to say and just follow directions. And it feels like everything worked out.”
Hill was being folded into the offense as a running back last season when injured. Through eight games, he had carried the ball 10 times for 24 yards. It was on special teams, though, where he was making an impact as a kickoff returner. Hill returned 10 kickoffs for 199 yards with a long of 41 yards.
The Packers have shuffled through options in their return game this season, using Amari Rodgers, Christian Watson and Keisean Nixon. Hill’s return could shore up the position.
“I like Kylin. He’s a good kid," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "It’s been a long road to recovery for him, so happy he got a chance to get back. We saw AJ (Dillon) got banged up in the game (against Buffalo on Sunday). We need two running backs in this league. I don’t know what kind of package, I’m sure they’ll have him on (special) teams.
“He’s a talented guy. He’s made some good runs in practice, looks like his leg is feeling good. I’m excited for the kid to get back on the field.”
Aaron Rodgers practices instead of rehabbing thumb
Aaron Rodgers has been using Wednesdays to rehab his injured thumb. But in Week 9 ahead of a trip to Detroit, Rodgers was at practice and participating, at least in a limited role. Wednesdays have been long, tough practices at times this season, but given this week’s was a jog through, Rodgers felt comfortable skipping rehab.
“I figured I might as well get down there and be around," he said. "I wish I could tell you (the thumb is) feeling better but it was more just a necessity of jog through and feel like my presence down there was kind of more important today than an hour of rehab.”
Receiver Allen Lazard (shoulder) also practiced Wednesday, in a limited role, after missing Sunday’s game against Buffalo. Linebacker Preston Smith (shoulder/neck) was a limited participant.
The Packers had five players not practice Wednesday: tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), lineman Elgton Jenkins (knee/foot), linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (knee), receiver Christian Watson (concussion) and corner Shemar Jean-Charles (ankle).
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Lions injury report ahead of game vs. the Packers
In Detroit, the Lions placed 13 players on the initial injury report of the week. Limited participants were linebacker Derrick Barnes (knee), defensive end Charles Harris (groin), center Frank Ragnow (foot) and wide receiver Josh Reynolds (back). Seven players did not practice: running back D’Andre Swift (ankle/shoulder), tackle Penei Sewell (personal), tight end Brock Wright (concussion), corner Chase Lucas (ankle), safety Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle), tackle Matt Nelson (calf) and corner A.J. Parker (hip).