It was a wild day in what has already been a wild week for the Packers. Considering all the injuries and personel moves, I can't remember a post-Wednesday practice session where I literally ran from locker to locker to make sure I didn't miss any interviews. That was even with the recently injured players like James Jones, Randall Cobb and Nick Perry not around. Had to talk with the newly promoted kids from the practice squad, Myles White and Jake Stoneburner. Couldn't miss the two rookies stepping in at outside linebacker Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer. Casey Hayward is just about ready to return. Derek Sherrod actually practiced today, had to talk to him. Aaron Rodgers meets the press once a week, on Wednesdays no less. Almost lost in the crush of interviews was the fact the team dropped another injury bombshell. Mike McCarthy found out Monday night backup tight end Ryan Taylor suffered a knee injury against the Ravens and underwent minor surgery to repair the damage. He'll be out a few weeks. Welcome to the club Ryan.
That's why Stoneburner was brought up from the practice squad. Taylor, a core special teams player will likely be out until mid-November. The rest of the week's first injury report has already ruled out Randall Cobb of course, Clay Matthews, James Starks and Nick Perry. Brad Jones didn't practice, working through his hamstring injury, nor did Mike Neal because of a shoulder sprain. Yup, Neal is down, leaving Mike McCarthy to conduct his game plan installation practice with only two outside backers, Mulumba and Palmer. There actually was some encouraging medical news, Jarrett Bush returned from his hamstring and was a full participant and Hayward was limited and appears likely to make his season debut Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
McCarthy tried to keep his sense of humor among the chaos which included a curtailed Wednesday practice with fewer team reps than normal because there are far fewer available players than normal. He even made a terrific historical reference at his post-practice news conference.
As for the newbies....White was all smiles, thrilled to be brought up. McCarthy said he made a terrific back shoulder touchdown catch during a team period. White is pleased GM Ted Thompson promoted from within rather sign an outsider. He said if it was training camp or OTA's, it might be different but there's no learning curve coming on board after practicing all off-season with the team. Stoneburner said he was just driving around Tuesday on his day off when the team called. He though he might be getting cut because he, like the rest of us, was unaware of Taylor's injury. He said it was a dream come true to be on an NFL roster but he knows the work has just begun because he'll probably get work on special teams where Taylor excelled.
And then there's Sherrod. He participated in his first practice in 22 months today. The former number one pick out of Mississippi State hasn't donned football pads since the Kansas City Chiefs game in 2011. He's had multiple surgeries on his severely broken leg, the most recent was in January. Sherrod told me he's confident he will be ready to help the team when his three week practice window closes coming off the physically unable to peform list. We'll see.