Taking a cautious approach

Running backs Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport are both recovering from major injuries sustained during last season. While both are anxious to get back onto the field to practice with the team, they will be excluded from drills when the Packers begin their Organized Team Activities on Wednesday.

Running back Najeh Davenport lost his bid to try to convince the medical staff to allow him to participate in the organized team activities, which begin May 31.

The team is taking a cautious approach with Davenport, who's seven months removed from having surgery for a broken right ankle sustained early in the season last year.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski said during the second mini-camp, May 19-21, that the coaching staff will wait on Davenport to be ready for the early part of training camp.

"A lot of guys want to rush back," Jagodzinski said. "But he's been here for the whole off-season program. He has an idea of what we're trying to get done out there. We're playing it on the safe side. Why would you lose a guy in shorts?"

By all indications, Davenport is ahead of Pro Bowl back Ahman Green in their recoveries from serious injuries. Green suffered a torn quadriceps tendon two weeks after Davenport went down. Although he's been running for a month, Green doesn't expect to be cleared for contact until the latter stages of training camp.

Green was taken by surprise, though, when coach Mike McCarthy had him line up in the backfield and carry the football during a walkthrough session on the last day of the recent mini-camp.

All of the running backs, whether healthy or not, are in learning mode because of the offense's new zone-blocking scheme.

"I don't want to get too excited about anything yet; it's just in the beginning phases. I'm taking the baby steps right now, and I'm very happy with it," Green said.


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