The Green Bay Packers have activated tight end Andrew Quarless from injured reserve/designated for return and gave up on rookie receiver Ty Montgomery’s comeback from an injured ankle by placing him on injured reserve.
Quarless sustained a knee injury in the Week 3 victory over Kansas City and missed 10 games. He’ll join Richard Rodgers, who ranks second on the team with 50 receptions and seven touchdowns, along with Justin Perillo, who’s caught 11 passes, and rookie sixth-round pick Kennard Backman, who’s barely played.
“Veteran player, has played a lot of football for us,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, a day after the Packers beat the Raiders 30-20 in Oakland. “It’s good to have him back. He’s obviously been working hard going through his. This is a good addition for us.”
Quarless last week said he had been taking more reps in practice to get him ready for his return. He said he was "oiled up, lubed up," and the rust of two-plus months out of action was gone.
"Mentally, Andrew’s fine," tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot said last week. "I think it’s going to be a matter of the physical aspects of getting his coordination and balance back right and explosion."
Quarless has two regular-season games to get into the back of the swing of things for the playoffs. Quarless, who is in his sixth season, has experience to lean on. He started 21 games the past two seasons, when he caught 61 passes for 635 yards and five touchdowns.
“The more time you have under your belt doing this,” Fontenot said, “then mentally it becomes more engrained in what you’re doing. He has a good understanding of what’s expected of him, what we expect of him and how to do it. It’s going to be a matter of him getting his body to the point of doing it the way he expects to do it.”
Montgomery sustained a high-ankle sprain during the Week 6 game vs. San Diego. He suffered at least two setbacks – on the Thursday before the Nov. 22 game against Minnesota and again on Wednesday. He’ll wind up missing the final 10 games of what had been a promising rookie season.
He was one of the stars of training camp and impressed quickly this season with 15 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game, a 31.1-yard average on kickoff returns and three carries for 14 yards out of the backfield. The offense has missed his versatility, especially after his run-after-catch ability. About 70 percent of his receiving yards came after the catch.
“We went through the process, trying everything leading up to this point, just didn’t get where it needed to get to,” McCarthy said. “And this is why the decision was made. It’s unfortunate, just the way the young man started the season.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy said cornerback Sam Shields remains in the concussion protocol after sitting out the Oakland game. As McCarthy noted, he'd be a big asset against Arizona's prolific offense. Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who missed the final 5 minutes of Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, looked “better today than he did on the plane last night,” McCarthy said.
At center against Oakland, Corey Linsley was active after missing last week’s game with an injured ankle but J.C. Tretter got the start. McCarthy, however, wouldn’t say a lineup change had been made. “J.C.’s played good football for us, and Corey, just in the long-term interest, I thought it was the best for our offense.”
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