For a team that had 14 players listed on their injury report Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers’ collective health status couldn’t have been much better during Thursday’s practice.
Outside linebacker Mike Neal (hip) was the only player who missed practice because of an injury. Cornerbacks Casey Hayward (concussion) and Damarious Randall (ill) returned to practice Thursday, as did right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee).
Bulaga’s return was especially promising. He missed Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said his right tackle also missed practice Saturday, a day before his team’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. Bulaga allowed a sack and three hurries against the Panthers, according to Pro Football Focus.
McCarthy said Bulaga’s knee “didn’t help him” against the Panthers.
“Just coming back a little slow from the game,” McCarthy said Thursday. “Just getting some work done on his knee. We’ll see what he can do today.”
Sam Shields, the Packers’ top cornerback, also practiced for the second straight day. Shields missed last week’s game against the Panthers with a shoulder injury, which knocked him out early in the previous week’s game at Denver.
With the Packers hosting the Detroit Lions and star receiver Calvin Johnson on Sunday, Shields’ return could be important.
“Coming off the field (Wednesday),” McCarthy said, “very encouraged. So we’ll see how today (goes). Today’s padded practice, I think the most information each and every week comes out of Thursday’s practice. So I’m hopeful we feel as good today as we did yesterday coming off the field.”
As for other players who were limited at practice Wednesday, McCarthy said his team isn't facing any alarming injuries.
"I think it’s Week 10 in the National Football League," McCarthy said. "Everybody has something. Our guys are battling through it, just like everybody else is. So I think that’s just a product of where we are in the season."
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