Packers practice report: Receivers return

August, 25, 2013
8/25/13
7:45
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the first time since the opening week of training camp, the Green Bay Packers had all of their top receivers together on the practice field.

Sunday marked the return of Jordy Nelson, who has been out since he underwent knee surgery on Aug. 5, and Randall Cobb, who has been limited by a biceps injury.

To be sure, it was not a taxing practice. It was a short, no-pads session that featured a 50-minute jog-through followed by some brief individual periods and finally special teams. Nevertheless, at least it was a chance for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to be around his full complement of receivers.

“Jordy and Aaron got an opportunity to work and get some time in individually,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Jordy has been ahead of schedule since the first week. He looks good.”

When Nelson had his surgery, his goal was to return in time for the Sept. 8 season opener at San Francisco. Now, it appears there’s a chance Nelson could play in Thursday’s preseason finale at Kansas City.

“I don’t think it’s going to matter because if I do play, I don’t think it’s going to be much,” Nelson said. “I think that little bit of work is not going to make a difference if I get it or not, but we’ll see.”

Cobb has been in and out of practices the last several weeks but has not played in any of the preseason games.

“You want to work on your releases, you want to work on your route running, you want to work on your timing with the quarterback,” Cobb said. “There’s a multitude of things that I’ve wanted to work on that I haven’t been able to because of the time I’ve missed.”

In other developments on Sunday:
  • By all appearances, Don Barclay has won the starting right tackle job, even though McCarthy refused to announce a starter. Barclay took all the reps there with the starters in Friday’s preseason game against Seattle and did so again in the first practice that followed. All of Marshall Newhouse’s work against the Seahawks came as the No. 2 left tackle. “I feel very good about both Marshall and Don,” McCarthy said. “I thought Don was very efficient in his time, and I’d say the same thing about Marshall, but they both had plays that if their performance would have been better, it could have been a potential big play for us on offense.”
  • Other than the field goal period, there were no competitive periods during practice. But during the jog-through period, starting guard T.J. Lang, who was playing a scout-team linebacker, intercepted a B.J. Coleman pass and lateralled it to Rodgers, who was playing safety.
  • By releasing six players and signing one before practice, the Packers had 85 players on their roster. They must make 10 more roster moves by Tuesday afternoon to comply with the NFL’s first mandatory cuts.
Medical report: Three key defensive players -- safety Morgan Burnett, cornerback Casey Hayward and linebacker Brad Jones -- dropped out of the Seattle game because of hamstring injuries and none returned for practice. McCarthy ruled out Burnett and Hayward this week, while Jones’ injury appears to be less severe. It’s a major setback for Hayward, who missed the first two preseason games because of the same injury.

The Packers were still waiting for additional tests on running back DuJuan Harris, who reinjured his knee against Seattle.

In addition to Cobb and Nelson, tight end Matthew Mulligan (elbow) and linebacker Andy Mulumba (knee) returned to practice.

A total of 13 players did not practice. They were CB Jarrett Bush (ankle), CB James Nixon (ankle, knee), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Tramon Williams (knee), LB Jarvis Reed (ankle), OL J.C. Tretter (ankle), T Bryan Bulaga (knee), T Derek Sherrod (leg), DE Jerel Worthy (knee) Hayward, Harris, Burnett and Jones.

What’s next: The second-to-last practice of training camp is Monday at 11:30 a.m. local time. Camp wraps up on Tuesday.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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