Well look who’s back?
Green Bay Packers edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, who has been on injured reserve since Sept 17 has finally returned to practice. Just a few days after Ian Rapoport reported that he was cleared to practice, Za’Darius is finally back on the football field.
What does this mean for Green Bay? The Pro Bowler posted a total of 26 sacks in his career with the Packers, but has been out since week one because of a lingering back injury that needed surgery. Za’Darius somehow still ranks 12th in the NFL in sacks over the last three seasons even without playing this year. Adding that production along with Rashan Gary and Preston Smith who rank second and ninth in total pressures according to PFF could go a long way for Green Bay in the playoffs. Also, maybe the Smith Brothers can duplicate this outfit again?
In other positive news, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said at practice that his toe should be 100% by next week. Rodgers hadn’t been practicing for more than one day a week since he fractured it in early November.
Offensive lineman Billy Turner was also activated from the COVID list and returned to practice. His return, along with the comebacks from left tackle David Bakhtiari and center Josh Myers in last weeks regular season game show that Green Bay is getting as healthy as a team can get at the most important time. Not to mention, also seen at practice were Jaire Alexander, Aaron Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, and Randall Cobb.
Because they don’t play this week, the Packers don’t have to issue an injury report. However one thing to keep an eye on were absences of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Kingsley Keke. However, having that important bye week might give them a chance to return in time for next week.
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