GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) There appears to be growing optimism that injured Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari could be ready for Sunday's wild-card playoff game against the Washington Redskins.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' blind-side protector missed the final two games of the regular season with an ankle injury.
Bakhtiari returned to practice on a limited basis on Thursday, when the team typically has its longest day of work. His availability for the Redskins game will depend on how he fares the rest of the week.
Coach Mike McCarthy also said that Bakhtiari's replacement last week against at tackle, Josh Sitton, would remain at left guard, where he is a Pro Bowl player.
Rodgers has been sacked 13 times over the last two weeks.
On defense, top cornerback Sam Shields was still going through the concussion protocol. He missed the final three games of the regular season after getting hurt on Dec. 13 during a 28-7 win against Dallas.
Shields practiced on a limited basis last week. He was initially listed as questionable for the Vikings game before being downgraded to doubtful on Saturday. He was inactive on Sunday.
''Sam is still going through the protocol. It's obviously a process. Everybody's injury is different, especially when we're dealing with concussions,'' McCarthy said.
Defensive end Datone Jones, who was knocked out of the 20-13 loss to Minnesota with a neck injury, did not practice on Wednesday. While McCarthy said he didn't have an update on his injury, it did not appear to be as serious as the neck injury that ended the career of tight end Jermichael Finley two seasons ago.
''We're not going down that path,'' McCarthy said.
Jones was did not practice on Thursday but was attending team meetings.
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