Manuel was signed a five-year, $10 million contract as an unrestricted free agent in early March to replace recently released starting strong safety Mark Roman. Manuel was limited to some walk-through drills during the first two weeks of camp, but mainly watched and tried to absorb as much as the defense as possible.
"I learned the game like that," said Manuel, who began his career in Cincinnati behind Roman. "When I was a younger guy, coming into the league I didn't get as many reps. I think that really helped me. Now, getting the calls and playing the calls, getting back into it, my depth might not be the same, or I might not react as fast, but it kept me sharp and in tune to what was going on."
Manuel said his return had nothing to do with Underwood's season-ending knee injury, which occurred Saturday in a preseason game against the Chargers.
"I was scheduled to come back," Manuel said. "It's unfortunate that it happened that way. Our prayers are with "Vell" (Marviel). He's part of this team. We know he'll be back next year."
Manuel, who is starting next to second-year pro Nick Collins, is expected to take part in Tuesday's practices, including full-contact scrimmages. It is quite likely, however, that Manuel will be limited in the scrimmages.
"Number one, he's got to get into football shape and just get with timing and the speed of the game," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "You can't really simulate that other than being out there. Obviously, he has to take the next step from the practice field to the game field as far as simulating the speed of the game. He's obviously a veteran. I don't think it will take long for him to get back into it, but there's no substitute for being out there."
While Manuel and wide receiver Leo Bookman returned to practice Monday, a number of other players did not participate in drills.
New to the injury list include linebacker cornerback Mike Hawkins, Kevin Schimmelmann, fullback A.J. Cooper, and offensive lineman Wayne Lucier. Hawkins has been bothered by a sore knee. The status of Schimmelmann, Cooper and Lucier was not immediately known.
Running back Samkon Gado, who injured his groin Saturday against San Diego, did not practice and will be "day-to-day," according to McCarthy.
Defensive tackle Kenderick Allen also did not practice after sustaining an abdominal injury Saturday against the Chargers.
Other players not participating Monday were defensive lineman Kenny Peterson (ankle), safety Atari Bigby (hand), offensive lineman Will Whitticker (hamstring), linebacker Kurt Campbell (hamstring), and cornerbacks Will Blackmon (foot) and Patrick Dendy (ankle).
Green to take another step
Running back Ahman Green, who returned to practice on a limited basis last week, is expected to take part in 11-on-11 full-pad scrimmages, beginning Tuesday, McCarthy said.
Green is not expected to play in the Packers' preseason game Saturday against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field, but he is taking another step in his comeback from a ruptured quadriceps. Last week he practiced in pads, but only played in 7-on-7 and some individual drills.
"The level of practice goes up when you put a player of his magnitude in there," McCarthy said. "We're going to practice him one a day here this week, assess how he does, then look at him next week and go from there."
Green took part in 11-on-11 drills for the first time in training camp on Monday, but the team practiced in shorts and "shells."