The odds of Derek Sherrod battling for a starting spot on the Green Bay Packers’ offensive live are slipping with every day he’s standing behind the offense at practice rather than in the huddle.
Sherrod, the first-round pick in 2011, broke his leg at Kansas City on Dec. 18 of his rookie season. He missed all of last season and still hasn’t gotten on the practice field this summer.
It’s an unfortunate situation for Sherrod and the team. Right tackle was — and continues to be — up for grabs, and the Packers’ plans at left tackle were ruined when Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL in the scrimmage last week.
Coach Mike McCarthy said, “I don’t know about that,” when asked if Sherrod might start practicing in the next week. Reading between the lines, it appears Sherrod might start the season on the physically unable to perform list.
“Derek Sherrod is making progress. He’s very confident,” McCarthy said after Monday’s practice. “The medical staff feels good about the way he’s coming. He’s really a product of his medical classification and that’s really the fact he hasn’t passed his physical where you can’t get into the contact, the loading — the final step that he needs to get ready to play offensive line. That’s kind of where we are. We’re trying to get him comfortable where he’s shown the explosion and the ability to push through the rehab process because once you pass that physical, you can’t turn back.”
Once Sherrod passes his physical, he’ll be allowed to practice. And once Sherrod starts to practice, he’s no longer eligible for PUP.
By going on PUP, Sherrod would have at least the first six weeks of the regular season for further healing. Under the old PUP rules, players had from the end of the sixth weekend of games to the start of the ninth weekend of games to either start practicing or go on season-ending injured reserve. Now, they have until the end of the 11th weekend of games to start practicing. In other words, players now have an additional two-plus weeks to mend.
Once deemed healthy, a player has three weeks of practice time without counting on the roster before teams must activate him to the active roster or put him on injured reserve. So, a player on PUP entering the season could play his first game in Week 7 or as late as Week 15.
New injuries: G T.J. Lang (back).
Lang, who sat out Thursday’s practice but played on Friday, was suited up and ready to go for Monday’s practice but was told to take the day off by McCarthy.
Old injuries WR Kevin Dorsey (hamstring), WR Charles Johnson (knee), RB Eddie Lacy (hamstring), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Tramon Williams (knee), OL J.C. Tretter (broken ankle), LT Bryan Bulaga (knee), OT/G Andrew Datko (concussion); OT Derek Sherrod (leg), TE Andrew Quarless (quad), TE Ryan Taylor (knee), WR Jordy Nelson (knee), DE Datone Jones (ankle); DE Jerel Worthy (ACL).
McCarthy said Jones would "miss a couple days this week" and his availability is uncertain for Saturday night's game at St. Louis.
Richardson and the medical staff continue to grapple about his playing future after a late-season neck injury and resulting surgery.
“The evaluation that just occurred with the information that was given to Dr. McKenzie, we feel we still need to wait,” McCarthy said. “There’s still some healing that needs to take place.”
Lacy tested his hamstring at practice but McCarthy had not gotten a report.
Back from injuries: WR Randall Cobb (bicep); RB DuJuan Harris (knee).
— With neither of the kickers getting a chance in the preseason game, the Packers are ratcheting up the competition at practice. The latest round went to Giorgio Tavecchio, who made all eight attempts from distances of 36, 42, 46 and 53 yards from each hash. Mason Crosby went 7-of-8, missing wide left from 46 yards on the right hash.
“I guess a little bit,” Tavecchio said about the growth of his confidence. “One day at at time. I don’t want my previous kick to affect my next kick, whether it’s a 55-yard field goal right down the middle or a complete shank. It’s about next kick, maintain that focus. Sure, subconsciously I’m feeling good about the rhythm and those are the things I hold on to. I kind of take the results as they come and let them go after I’ve kind of dissected the film, so I make sure I can move on.”
— Monday’s practice was open to reporters but not fans. “A closed practice is more of a reflection on what you’re trying to work on,” McCarthy said. “Today’s focus was just working on concepts that we probably didn’t get to hit as far as the quantity and quality during our installation phase. It’s just things that we would rather work on in private. It’s great to have the open practices, it’s obviously very beneficial for the environment it creates, and for the fans. But there are some things that you do want not exposed until the season comes.”
Practices on Tuesday and Wednesday will be in full pads and start at 11:15 a.m.; Thursday’s practice will be in helmets and start at 11 a.m.
— Tyrone Walker took reps with the No. 1s at receiver and Micah Hyde leaped past Davon House at cornerback. Hyde and Sam Shields formed the No. 1 tandem, though that’s subject to change once Williams and Hayward return.
— Ryan Longwell has retired as a member of the Packers, a decision he will discuss with reporters on Tuesday. Longwell scored a franchise-record 1,054 points during his nine-year career (1997-2005) in Green Bay. Longwell’s 964 points from 1997 through 2004 were the most in the NFL over that span.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and 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 twitter.com/PackerReport.