T.J. Lang wasn’t supposed to practice on Thursday.
But he did.
And Lang full intends on playing on Sunday against Indianapolis, despite a hip injury that has sidelined him briefly in each of the past two games and probably won’t get appreciably better until he has surgery after the season.
“I wouldn’t bet against myself,” Lang said on Thursday.
On Thursday morning, coach Mike McCarthy said he was “holding T.J. back” from practicing until Saturday. But with the change at center, with Corey Linsley stepping in for injured starter J.C. Tretter, Lang thought it would be valuable renew acquaintances with Linsley, a 29-game starter in 2014 and 2015.
“I might have overreacted a little bit,” Lang said. “I played a lot of games, a lot of snaps next to Corey. It’s been a while, so just kind of wanted to refresh the memory a little bit. Him and J.C. are a little slightly different in how they like to block and fit into some double teams. Just wanted to make sure that we were on the same page there. So, productive.”
Lang said he “didn’t do a whole lot” to stress the injury. During the portion of practice that was open to reporters, he worked on some combo blocks with Linsley and right tackle Bryan Bulaga. Lang emerged from practice feeling good about his chemistry with Linsley. And he felt good about how he felt, too.
“I think it was a little bit of a confidence boost, as well,” he said. “I felt pretty good. So, yeah, it was a good day.”
This figures to be the routine for the rest of the season for Lang – with the week focused on mental reps and physical recovery. He said for a few days after the game, even sitting on a recliner or on the couch is painful.
“It’s just a cycle,” he said. “Play Sunday, pretty sore for three or four days, and then try to calm it down as much as I can so I can get back out there Sunday and just restart on Monday. It’s been probably the routine we’ve been doing the last couple weeks, probably the routine we’ll see through the rest of the season. For me, it’s just mostly mental preparation, doing as much as I can to make sure I’m staying in shape, getting everything straightened out. Yeah, I don’t really foresee getting much better, getting much worse. It just is what it is. I think everybody is on board with it. There’s be some days like today where I’m feeling pretty good, want to get out there and practice with the guys, and just kind of ultimately be smart. Sunday is the ultimate goal to go out and play. Just kind of take it day by day, and just make sure first and foremost I’m not doing anything to set me back from playing.”
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.