Not even Julius Peppers, apparently, is immune to the Green Bay Packers’ spate of injuries.
Or, maybe he is.
Peppers, who hasn’t missed a game since 2007, was in street clothes as the Packers went through a padded practice inside the Don Hutson Center on Monday. He’s rarely, if ever, been on the Packers’ injury report during his two seasons with the team. And he probably will be taken off of the report on Tuesday because his absence was deemed "not injury related." Most likely, the 35-year-old linebacker was given a day of rest.
"They ruined his two-year streak," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "I don’t think that was Julius’ call. I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on that. He’ll be out there. We’re just making sure our workhorse is ready for us to get after the quarterback."
Peppers, Bryan Bulaga (ankle), receiver Ty Montgomery (ankle) and cornerback Demetri Goodson (unknown) were the four players who did not practice. Bulaga practiced on Sunday, so his absence was a bit of a surprise after missing the final 17 snaps of the Chicago game. Guard T.J. Lang (shoulder) was listed as limited participation even though he didn't participate when reporters were allowed to watch practice. Also limited on the offensive line were center Corey Linsley (ankle) and guard Josh Sitton (back).
“I thought they both did what they were asked to do,” McCarthy said of Linsley and Bulaga and what they did on Sunday. “Today we’re going to put the pads on and get into the heavier loads as far as individual drills and so forth. We’ll have a better idea, because ultimately they need to be able to put the foot in the ground and explode. But they’re making progress. They hit the target yesterday."
Other than the botched shotgun snap to Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter – obviously a big asterisk – J.C. Tretter has played well in most of two full games in place of Linsley, who injured an ankle in the opening series of the Minnesota game on Nov. 22. At the portion of Sunday’s practice that was open to reporters, Linsley took the first-team reps, though McCarthy on Monday wouldn’t say who would start against the Lions.
Cornerback Damarious Randall (knee) and tight end Andrew Quarless (knee) returned, with Quarless back on the field for the first time since sustaining an MCL tear against Kansas City in Week 3. Randall, who made a leaping interception during a drill, was full participation.
Quarless remains on injured reserve/designated for return. The Packers have 21 days to either add him to the active roster or put him on season-ending injured reserve. In theory, he could play on Thursday, though it seems unlikely the Packers would put him out there after just one full practice.
"Today was a big step for me, definitely a big step getting back with A-Rod and getting that timing back, footwork and fundamentals – certain little things," Quarless said. "I’m a sixth-year veteran, so there’s things I know how to do. It’s just getting back into the mix of things."
During the portion of practice open to reporters, there was a lengthy combo-blocking drill, Quarless did not take any reps. He did catch some passes.
“It’s a little different for each guy, because I think the position has a lot to do with it too when you come off of these long injuries,” McCarthy said. “Him coming back today is by design also with the fact that you want him to line up with a padded period. That wasn’t the ultimate decision but I think Andrew being in pads today will benefit (him) as much as anybody, or more so than anybody.”
At receiver, Jared Abbrederis (ribs) returned to practice on Sunday and is "making progress," McCarthy said. He was full participation. The same is not true for Montgomery, who "hasn't made much progress" with a high-ankle sprain sustained against San Diego on Oct. 18.
PACKERS INJURY REPORT
Player (injury): Monday
OT Bryan Bulaga (ankle): DNP
CB Demetri Goodson (illness): DNP
WR Ty Montgomery (ankle): DNP
OLB Julius Peppers (not injury related): DNP
G T.J. Lang (shoulder): Limited
C Corey Linsley (ankle): Limited
ILB Nate Palmer (foot): Limited
G Josh Sitton (back): Limited
WR Jared Abbrederis (rib/chest): Full
S Micah Hyde (hip): Full
CB Damarious Randall (knee): Full
LIONS INJURY REPORT
Player (injury): Monday
WR Lance Moore (ankle): DNP
K Matt Prater (illness): DNP
S James Ihedigbo (hamstring): Limited
WR Calvin Johnson (ankle): Limited
S Glover Quin (ankle): Limited
DT Caraun Reid (ankle): Limited
C Travis Swanson (ankle): Limited
WR Golden Tate (calf): Limited
G Larry Warford (concussion): Full
DT Gabe Wright (ankle): Full
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.