Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy struck an optimistic tone when asked about several of his injured players on Thursday.
And that optimistic note held up based on what happened at Thursday's practice.
Against Atlanta last week, receivers Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Ty Montgomery (illness), cornerbacks Damarious Randall (groin) and Quinten Rollins (groin), running back James Starks (knee), outside linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle) were inactive. Plus, guard T.J. Lang (hip) was sidelined for a few snaps for the second consecutive week and didn’t practice on Wednesday.
Other than Randall, they all took part in the portion of the full-pads practice that was open to reporters and were listed as limited participation on Thursday afternoon's injury report.
McCarthy was asked about several of those players before Thursday’s practice:
-- Will Lang practice after not participating on Wednesday? “T.J. will probably be in a limited-if-at-all kind of rehab mode today. And then we’ll see where he is. My hope is he’ll practice on Saturday. Frankly, I’m holding T.J. back. That’s the biggest part of it.”
As it turns out, Lang did practice. He went through individual drills and worked some combo blocks with new center Corey Linsley and right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
-- Did Matthews do much on Wednesday? “Yes, he did," McCarthy said. "Clay had a good day. He’s going to try to do a little more today. So, he’s getting better. He’s getting close. Hopeful.”
So was Matthews after Thursday's practice. He said he feels better now than he did at this point last week.
"I felt great going out there on that Thursday night game (vs. Chicago on Oct. 20)," Matthews said. "You know getting up to it was difficult but I think three games in 11 days is probably difficult when you're coming off an injury, so I think that's ultimately the setback in which we had. Yeah, we're trying to be smart, especially without any breaks moving forward for the next umpteen weeks. Sometimes, we tend to be overly cautious but, you know, rightfully so, too, especially with this long haul we have."
-- Will Starks practice after getting some pre-practice work on Wednesday? “James is going to practice today in a limited fashion, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Starks, who has missed three games following knee surgery, did some individual drills before going back in the Don Hutson Center to presumably do more rehab work. Montgomery, however, took full reps. For instance, Starks watched a pass-protection drill while Montgomery took as many reps as Don Jackson.
As was the case with Starks, Cook did some individual work before going back in the Hutson Center.
-- How about Cobb? “Randall probably won’t do as much today," McCarthy said. "He did a lot yesterday. Getting better. Hopefully, they all can go, but just got to through the whole week. Hopefully, we won’t have any hurdles that we can’t get over.”
Cornerback Demetri Goodson suffered a concussion at some point against Atlanta – McCarthy didn’t know when it happened, only learning about the symptoms on Monday. In a piece of fortunate timing, Rollins, who has missed the last three games, appears ready to return.
“His work was good yesterday, so we’ll see today. He’s making progress. He’s getting close," McCarthy said of Rollins.
Only Randall, Goodson and center J.C. Tretter did not practice.
For the Colts, cornerback Vontae Davis was limited with a concussion - a good sign that he'll play - and quarterback Andrew Luck was added to the report as limited with a sore throwing shoulder.
|WR Randall Cobb||Hamstring||Limited||Limited|
|TE Jared Cook||Ankle||DNP||Limited|
|CB Demetri Goodson||Concussion||DNP||DNP|
|G T.J. Lang||Hip||DNP||Limited|
|LB Clay Matthews||Hamstring||Limited||Limited|
|WR Ty Montgomery||Illness||Limited||Limited|
|CB Damarious Randall||Groin||DNP||DNP|
|CB Quinten Rollins||Groin||Limited||Limited|
|RB James Starks||Knee||DNP||Limited|
|C J.C. Tretter||Knee||DNP||DNP|
|S Mike Adams||Groin||DNP||DNP|
|TE Dwayne Allen||Ankle||Limited||Limited|
|DT Henry Anderson||Knee||Limited||Full|
|LB Chris Carter||Hamstring||--||DNP|
|CB Vontae Davis||Concussion||DNP||Limited|
|WR Phillip Dorsett||Rest||--||DNP|
|T/G Denzelle Good||Knee||DNP||Full|
|RB Frank Gore||Rest||DNP||Full|
|WR T.Y. Hilton||Hamstring||DNP||Full|
|LB D'Qwell Jackson||Rest||--||DNP|
|DE Kendall Langford||Knee||DNP||DNP|
|QB Andrew Luck||Right Shoulder||--||Limited|
|OLB Curt Maggitt||Ankle||Limited||Limited|
|OLB Robert Mathis||Rest||DNP||Full|
|G Jack Mewhort||Tricep||DNP||DNP|
|T/G Joe Reitz||Concussion||DNP||DNP|
|WR Chester Rodgers||Hamstring/Foot||Limited||Full|
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.