Sidelines: Green's rehab on schedule

Running back looks forward to training camp

Being a spectator on the sidelines has never been part of Ahman Green's personal game plan. However, that's been the four-time Pro Bowler's fate ever since he ruptured his right quadriceps tendon against the Vikings in Minnesota last October. Two days after going down in a heap on the Metrodome's artificial turf, Green underwent season-ending surgery and vowed he'd be back this season, strong and elusive as ever.

That's a very tall order, but one Green insists he plans to fulfill. Sitting at his locker room cubicle between mini-camp practices over the weekend, Green put a smiley face on his rehabilitation process.

"I'm feeling good but it's something that's just day to day, one day at a time," said Green. "I've got to be happy at the end of the day to be where I'm at now. All I can do from this point is to continue to do what I'm doing, working hard in the weight room, eating right, stretching and keeping my flexibility all over my body not just in my injured leg – well, it's not injured any more, really. It's on the way to getting back to full recovery."

With Green nursing himself back to health and with Najeh Davenport rehabbing his broken ankle, Samkon Gado has been the top running back on Green Bay's mini-camp depth chart. Gado, himself making a comeback from a knee injury last season, has been running hard with an eye to being the opening day starter if Green and Davenport aren't fully recovered.

Count Packer head coach Mike McCarthy among those who are quite anxious to see what Green Bay will have in the backfield once all three backs are at full strength.

"You never have enough good running backs," said McCarthy. "We talk all the time about being fresh, physically and mentally during the course of a football game. Our starting point on offense is running the football so we're going to have enough carries for everybody."

Establishing the running game had been a Packer strength prior to last season's collapse. The Packers want to the running game to be a catalyst that will let the offense dictate to opposing defenses and get them on their heels instead of the other way around.

"What he (McCarthy) wants to get accomplished is to get this team back to where we were at the year before last," Green added. "Granted, we were 4-12 last year but that was due in part to a ton of injuries from the first game of the season. From that standpoint, it was kind of tough for our team to adjust to all of the injuries. Maybe one or two here and there but when it got to four, five, six and almost into double digits of starters missing games, that was tough to adjust to. The young guys that had to step in because of injuries had to be ready to play. That's tough because you don't have a lot of turnaround until the next game. You only have 16 regular season games and that's different from baseball (162 games) and basketball (82 games) where the player has a longer time to adjust. With this new coaching staff and new philosophy coming in sometimes change is good. It's only May so we have a long way to go before anything can be done to start the makeup for next season."

Green has never been a guy point to his personal numbers. He's taking the same approach this season and his personal goal is very basic.

"Just to get on the field," he smiles. "If I can get on the field and be healthy, I'll be happy and that will be a good year for me. That's all I want for myself, that's all my team wants for me. I know that when I'm out there and I'm 100 percent, I can bring a lot to the table and help my team out."

A healthy, productive Ahman Green would be a big boost to the Packers' quest in 2006 to bring back some respectability to 1265 Lombardi Avenue.

Tom Andrews

Tom Andrews began covering the Packers in 1974 as a reporter for Milwaukee radio stations WZUU and WOKY. He has been a contributing writer to Packer Report since 1999 and his articles have also appeared in the Green Bay Packers Yearbook, Packer Profiles, Packer Tracker and Sports Collectors Digest among other publications. Andrews is also president of Andrews Media Ventures, a Milwaukee area media and communications consultancy. Email him at

Packer Report Top Stories