GREEN BAY, Wis. – While Aaron Jones didn’t practice on Wednesday and might not be ready for Sunday, the Green Bay Packers are getting some key players back.
Left tackle David Bakhtiari returned to practice after missing last week’s game at Tampa Bay with a chest injury and receiver Allen Lazard (core) and linebacker Christian Kirksey (shoulder) have been designated to return from injured reserve.
Jones missed last week’s game at Houston with a calf injury. Coach Matt LaFleur didn’t seem inclined to rush him back to face the Minnesota Vikings. Left unsaid is the Packers play at San Francisco the following Thursday.
“We want to be very, very careful with him and not put him in a position where he misses a significant amount of time,” LaFleur said before Wednesday’s practice. “Obviously, he’s a huge part to this whole team, everything he brings on game day. We’ll be smart with him, but hoping to get him back sooner than later.”
With Kirksey and Lazard back at practice, the team will have 21 days to bring them back to the roster. The team gave rookie linebacker Kamal Martin two weeks of practice time before putting him on the field.
Also returning to practice were running back/receiver/returner Tyler Ervin, who missed the past two games with a wrist injury, and safety Darnell Savage, who missed last week’s game with a quad injury.
Jones, cornerback Kevin King (quad) and kicker Mason Crosby (calf/back) did not practice. King practiced on Wednesday and Thursday of last week but didn’t on Friday and missed a second consecutive game.
They were among a season-high 19 players on the injury report. The injury list was so extensive that the team noted on its injury report that it conducted only a walk-through and the practice designations were approximations.
Whenever Lazard returns, it would provide a big shot in the arm to the offense. According to Pro Football Focus, of 102 receivers with at least 16 targets, Davante Adams ranks fifth with a catch rate of 81.8 percent and Lazard is seventh at 81.3 percent. While the Packers have won two of three games without Lazard, it’s not because anyone has stepped up. Marquez Valdes-Scantling ranks 100th of those aforementioned 102 receivers with a catch rate of 46.9 percent.
Packers Injury Report
Full: CB Jaire Alexander (hand/knee).
Limited: LT David Bakhtiari (chest), LB Krys Barnes (shoulder/biceps), LS Hunter Bradley (groin), RB Tyler Ervin (wrist), OLB Rashan Gary (ankle), S Raven Greene (oblique), DT Tyler Lancaster (shoulder), TE Marcedes Lewis (knee), TE John Lovett (knee), LB Kamal Martin (knee), S Darnell Savage (quad), OLB Preston Smith (shoulder), OLB Za’Darius Smith (ankle), WR Equanimeous St. Brown (knee), TE Robert Tonyan (ankle/knee).
Did not participate: K Mason Crosby (calf/back), RB Aaron Jones (calf), CB Kevin King (quad),
Vikings Injury Report
Full: S Anthony Harris (wrist), G Dru Samia (wrist), WR Adam Thielen (shoulder).
Limited: CB Kris Boyd (hamstring/back), RB Dalvin Cook (groin).
Did not participate: CB Holton Hill (foot), CB Mike Hughes (neck).