Packers' Ty Montgomery catching up to win wide receiver job

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) As he lay on the ground, Ty Montgomery caught several passes thrown by wide receivers coach Luke Getsy from in front of and behind the young Green Bay receiver Sunday.

Even on what was supposed to be a day off for him from practice, Montgomery didn't feel compelled to just stand around as his teammates worked.

Finally back on the field after missing most of his rookie season in 2015 because of an ankle injury, Montgomery is playing catch-up as he tries to win back a roster spot.

''I'm excited to be a part of this competition right now,'' Montgomery said after practice Sunday.

The belated debut of Montgomery in training camp last week added to what's already been a highly competitive preseason battle among a deep pool of candidates at receiver.

And the return of Montgomery may have come at a good time since the Packers are without Jeff Janis for at least this week.

Janis suffered a broken right hand in practice Wednesday and didn't play Green Bay's first preseason game two days later. The third-year pro watched Sunday's practice with a cast on the injured hand.

The indefinite loss of Janis, who had a breakout game in the playoffs last season, comes as the Packers still are waiting on veteran standout Jordy Nelson (knee) to be activated from the physically unable to perform list.

After Nelson and fellow starter Randall Cobb, the Packers have several candidates making their case for the few remaining receiver spots to be filled for the start of the season next month.

''It's very, very competitive, but that's what you want,'' Montgomery said. ''You know for a fact that the guys that do make the team are going to be really good guys, going to be some playmakers.''

Montgomery hopes to be making plays again for Green Bay after his extended layoff from football.

Taken in the third round of the draft, Montgomery played only the first six games last season before he sustained what turned out to be a severe ankle injury in a win over the Chargers on Oct. 18.

Montgomery had surgery on the ankle in December and spent the entire offseason as well as the first two weeks of training camp in recovery mode.

Though he felt a little rusty, Montgomery cherished the chance to play again in the 17-11 win over the Browns on Friday after he started practicing earlier in the week.

''Most volume (of work) I've had since I had the surgery, including last week, too,'' Montgomery said. ''But it felt good to get back out there. I was excited.''

He had only one catch against the Browns, but the reception for 7 yards still was significant since Montgomery last caught a pass in a game 10 months ago as Green Bay's No. 3 receiver.

''It's good to see him back, and he's looking like he's pretty healthy, too,'' Getsy said.

And, as he showed Sunday with his drill work on the side as Getsy threw passes from different angles to the prone receiver, Montgomery isn't resting in the fight to win a job.

''I was just grateful to be back out there,'' he said about playing Friday. ''It's the first time it's been taken away from me for that long.''

NOTES: Backup QB Brett Hundley practiced Sunday. The second-year player had been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in practice Aug. 1. Cobb and linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers also practiced after not playing Friday. Cobb (calf) and Matthews (ankle) were injured last week. S Morgan Burnett (back) didn't practice Sunday. First-year offensive lineman Matt Rotheram (bicep) had his left arm in a sling after playing Friday. ... The Packers placed long snapper Jesse Schmitt (broken hand) on injured reserve and signed undrafted rookie center Kyle Steuck, a Green Bay native. ''It's sweet, it's really cool, kind of surreal, a dream come true,'' said Steuck, who played at Division II Northern Michigan. He was helping coach the football team at his alma mater, West De Pere High School, before the Packers worked him out Saturday.

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