The Green Bay Packers have dealt with a handful of injuries so far in camp, but on Monday they got some good news. Second-year cornerback Casey Hayward passed his physical and was taken off the team’s PUP list.
Hayward saw his first training camp practice, and the Packers eased the young cornerback back into action. Hayward took reps with the second team defense alongside Davon House. Sam Shields and rookie Micah Hyde still played with the first team, and in nickel Hyde moved into the slot—Hayward’s spot last season.
I wouldn’t take these moves as anything more than the Packers being careful with Hayward as he returns from his hamstring injury. I fully expect Hayward to reprise his role as the team’s nickel corner once he’s at full health and some of the rust in his game wears off. Hayward should see some playing time this Friday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Other practice returnees are tight ends Andrew Quarless, who missed two weeks because of a thigh injury sustained early in camp, and Ryan Taylor who was injured in the Packers Family Night Scrimmage. Tight end is a position that’s been looking thin so far in camp, so it will be good for the Packers to get both players back. However, Quarless seems to be facing an uphill battle to even earn a roster spot on the team at this point. He needs to stay healthy for the rest of August to have a chance.
First-round pick Datone Jones also returned to practice, but he only saw limited action and was held out of the majority of team drills. Regardless, Jones’ return on Monday bodes well for his chances to play against the Seahawks on Friday night. Fans are still waiting to see how Jones looks in game action. He sprained his ankle on his first play in the preseason opener. It will be important for him to get in the lineup soon and build some chemistry with the other defensive players before the season gets underway.
In other injury news, tight end Matthew Mulligan is still sitting out with an injured elbow he sustained in St. Louis, and cornerback James Nixon also sat out in practice because of an injured knee and ankle he suffered in last week’s preseason game.
Randall Cobb and Tramon Williams have still yet to return to practice, and it’s undetermined when the two starters will be back in the lineup. It’s highly unlikely Williams will play this Friday, but Cobb remains questionable and could get a few reps against Seattle.
Jordy Nelson and Charles Johnson are still far from returning, but DuJuan Harris seems to be fully healthy as he started at running back with the ones and participated in the team drills. Good news for the Packers. I’m looking forward to seeing the combination of Harris and Eddie Lacy in the backfield this Friday.
For more injury and camp updates stay tuned.