Zombo Hopes He's 'Hit Bottom'

Plenty has changed for Frank Zombo, who's in his second week of practice after opening season on PUP.

As an undrafted rookie in 2010, Frank Zombo started eight games at outside linebacker and recorded four sacks. He added another in the Super Bowl.

At that time, he looked like an answer on the Green Bay Packers' defense. Instead, it's been one big question: Can Zombo stay healthy.

He missed six games in 2010 with a knee sprain. He broke a shoulder blade during pregame warmups before a preseason game and wound up missing the first five games of the regular season. He wound up missing three others with a strained hamstring. This season, he's missed the first seven games with another hamstring injury that prevented him from even stepping on the field in training camp.

All told, since playing in the first 13 games as a rookie, Zombo has been sidelined for 24 of a possible 31 games (including playoffs).

"You never want to be injured, especially with the last two years and how they've gone," Zombo said at the end of Wednesday's locker room session. "You've got ups and downs in your career, ups and downs in football. I think I've hit the bottom this past year and I think things are starting to go back up. We'll see how things go the next couple of weeks and what they decide to do and go from there."

Zombo, who remains on the physically unable to perform list, returned to practice last week. He called it a "trial period" to test the hamstring's health.

"I'm moving around pretty decent," he said. "It's good to be back and good to be part of the team."

Zombo said he hasn't been told if there's a plan for activating him to the active roster. Since Zombo last played in the playoff game against the Giants, a lot has changed at his position. A first-round pick was used on Nick Perry, Dezman Moses made a splash as an undrafted rookie and Erik Walden has never played better during his five seasons in the league.

"Oh, yeah, I can definitely go out there and help the team win," Zombo said. "That's what I'm here to do. Hopefully, they give me the chance to do it."

Meanwhile, offensive tackle Derek Sherrod has not been cleared to practice after breaking his leg at Kansas City in December. He said he's not 100 percent recovered but is close.

"If it was on me, I'd be practicing months ago. I just have to take it day by day," last year's first-round pick said.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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