Hayward, Neal expect to play; Montgomery unsure
Casey Hayward was never diagnosed with a concussion before this past week, and he still isn’t sure if he had one after leaving last week’s game early.
Hayward said he didn’t feel any concussion symptoms. There was no headache Monday morning. He wasn’t seeing stars. His head has actually felt worse in the past, Hayward said, and he was able to keep playing.
Hayward felt like he could’ve returned to the field for the conclusion of the Green Bay Packers’ loss at the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Instead, the NFL’s concussion policy prevented him from returning to the game.
“I think they were just being really cautious because you never know,” Hayward said, “and I was fine with that because they go with the protocol.”
Hayward said he might not know officially whether he’s playing against the Detroit Lions until Sunday morning, but he expects to be on the field.
He passed the concussion protocol this week and practiced Thursday, when the team was in pads. Hayward said he had a base-line workout before being cleared to practice. Once he passed, Hayward was able to participate without contact.
Hayward said there are no restrictions preventing him from being on the field Sunday.
“I don’t think there’s anything I need to do,” Hayward said. “If something comes up, make sure I give them the heads-up and kind of be truthful with ’em, especially in that process, and I will be. If something comes up, I would tell them. Hey, it would be no big deal for me not to tell ’em.”
The Packers should have their full defense on the field when they play the Lions. Outside linebacker Mike Neal, the lone player who hasn’t practiced this week, said he doesn’t expect his hip injury to keep him on the sideline.
“I’m playing on Sunday,” Neal said in the locker room Friday.
The Packers could also have their full offense on the field together for the first time since the opener at the Chicago Bears two months ago. Receiver Ty Montgomery said his ankle felt “better” during practice this week, though he stopped short of saying it felt “good.”
“It’s definitely not 100 percent,” Montgomery said. “It felt pretty bad when I hurt it. So I’m just going to keep taking it one day at a time, and hopefully this will be the week.”
Montgomery hasn’t played since Oct. 18 when he left the Packers’ game against the San Diego Chargers early with a sprained ankle. He said it’s the first time he’s missed a game because of an ankle injury.
With pain shooting up his leg, Montgomery said he initially thought he might have broken his leg. Fortunately for the rookie receiver, the injury wasn’t that severe.
• The Packers had an extensive injury report Friday that consisted of 15 players. Neal, Montgomery, running back Eddie Lacy (groin) and cornerback Sam Shields were questionable. Hayward, right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee), safety Morgan Burnett (ankle), defensive back Micah Hyde (quadriceps), receiver James Jones (quadriceps), right guard T.J. Lang (back), linebacker Clay Matthews (ankle/knee), outside linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder/hand), cornerback Damarious Randall (illness), cornerback Quinten Rollins (neck) and left guard Josh Sitton (back) were listed as probable.
• Panthers safety Roman Harper was fined $8,681 for his hit against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that resulted in an unnecessary roughness penalty.
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