While mostly skimmed over at the NFL owners meetings, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy did give health updates on several players who suffered season-ending injuries last season.
According to McCarthy, offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, running back Alex Green and tight end Andrew Quarless are making varied degrees of progress in their rehabs.
Sherrod, a 2011 first-round pick who broke his fibula and tibia last December against the Kansas City Chiefs, appears to be on track to return by training camp. McCarthy hopes to see something from Sherrod this summer.
"He's there (at the facility) every day," McCarthy said from Palm Beach, Florida. "He looks better every time I see him. They're projecting probably training camp, so we'll know more when we get to OTAs. Hopefully, he can get out there in June and do something."
Sherrod suffered the gruesome injury while filling in at right tackle late last season, when a string of injuries hit the Packers offensive line and McCarthy had to scramble together personnel combinations. The 22-year-old tackle remained in Kansas City to have emergency surgery on the two breaks in his right leg.
Sherrod, given he makes a full recovery, could push for a starting spot on the offensive line next season, especially if the Packers plan on moving Bryan Bulaga to the left side.
The prognosis appears promising for Green, too.
A third-round pick in 2011, Green tore his ACL while blocking for a kick return against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 7 last season. McCarthy seemed the most optimistic about Green, which makes sense given the timing of his injury.
"Alex looks really good," McCarthy said. "Just seeing him in the weight room every day, he looks like he's really progressing."
"...I feel good about Alex."
With the Packers making little attempt to re-sign veteran free agent Ryan Grant, Green may have a bigger role in the Packers' offense in 2012. If back to 100 percent, Green could take over a majority of Grant's snaps and provide a dynamic option as a third-down back.
The outlook for Quarless, a third-year tight end whose leg buckled during a punt return against the New York Giants in Week 13, wasn't as clear as Sherrod or Green. The early prognosis on the torn ACL wasn't good, and the possibility still remains that Quarless could miss a large chunk of the 2012 season.
"I know they feel good about where Andrew is, but the timing of the injuries was different," McCarthy said.
Before his injury, Quarless had begun establishing himself as the team's most accomplished blocking tight end. While a limited factor in the passing game, Quarless appeared to have carved out a niche on the roster. The Packers have plenty of options at tight end moving forward, including 2011 draft picks D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor, so the team can be patient with Quarless's rehab.
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