The Green Bay Packers may have their entire secondary intact for Saturday night’s divisional playoff game against Arizona.
Rookie cornerback Quinten Rollins (quad) returned to practice in a limited capacity Thursday after leaving midway through Sunday's game in Washington and not returning. Meanwhile, Sam Shields was performing individual drills on Thursday and appears to be nearing the end of the concussion protocol.
Shields has missed four games with the concussion he sustained against Dallas on Dec. 13. He returned to practice two weeks ago before dropping out again last week. The sixth-year cornerback has yet to be cleared by an independent neurologist as of Thursday afternoon, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy indicated he's getting close.
Shields was again listed as a limited in Thursday's non-padded practice.
“The work today will obviously hopefully complete the protocol,” said McCarthy beforehand. “But I don’t have anything to announce until he completes the protocol.”
It would provide a major lift to the defense if Shields and Rollins are both cleared to play Saturday night. Cardinals receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown are considered one of the top trios in the league. The Packers' secondary struggled to take them all away without Shields during last month's 38-8 loss at University of Phoenix Stadium.
"I mean it's obviously going to be a big deal," Rollins said. "We haven't been at full strength for a while now, since the Dec. 13 game. Having everybody back would definitely be to our advantage. We'll see how it comes out."
Rollins said he was considered "day-to-day," though he didn't appear to be limited in his movements during the portion of practice available to the media.
Receiver Davante Adams (knee) was the only player who didn't participate in Thursday's practice. McCarthy acknowledged that Adams won’t play against the Cardinals if he doesn’t practice on Friday.
Left tackle David Bakhtiari suffered no setbacks with the ankle injury that’s sidelined him for the past three games. He continued to take individual reps with the offensive tackles Thursday after practicing in a limited capacity on Wednesday.
Right guard T.J. Lang (shoulder) only rode an exercise bike during the media portion of practice, but must have done some team work given his limited designation. Left guard Josh Sitton (back) was also limited.
Defensive linemen Mike Daniels (hamstring) and Datone Jones (neck), running back Eddie Lacy (rib), outside linebacker Mike Neal (hip), and tight ends Andrew Quarless (knee) and Richard Rodgers (hip) were all limited.
Outside linebackers Jayrone Elliott (quad) and tight end Justin Perillo (hamstring) were full participants for a second consecutive day.
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