Packers RB Lacy returns to practice

The SportsXchange

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In one his shortest press conferences this season, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy talked for about 4 1/2 minutes after practice Monday and avoided intensive insight on the team's important injury issues.

Brief though it was, the news was good for the Packers.

Topping the list, rookie running back Eddie Lacy is "full go" as the team comes off a bye week and begins to prepare for Sunday's NFC North battle against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.

Lacy practiced Monday for the first time since he sustained a concussion in the Week 2 win over the Washington Redskins. The head injury kept Lacy from playing the last time out, when the Packers (1-2) lost to the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sept. 22.

"I thought Eddie practiced well today," McCarthy said. "It was good to have him back out there. He's full go, and I think the week off definitely helped him."

Having Lacy back on the field is vital for the Packers, who for a few plays late in the game against the Bengals had no running backs available. They lost James Starks, the fill-in starter for Lacy, to a knee injury before halftime. Rookie Johnathan Franklin sustained a foot injury toward the end of the game, and the lone fullback, John Kuhn, didn't suit up because of a hamstring injury.

Starks and Kuhn didn't practice Monday, raising uncertainty about each player's status for the rest of the week and the game Sunday.

The Packers won't have to disclose their first injury report of the week until Wednesday, after they have their usual day off Tuesday.

"I'm not going to talk about injuries," McCarthy said.

McCarthy, though, addressed the outlook for Morgan Burnett. The team's top safety, who missed the first three games because of a bum hamstring, went through the full practice Monday.

"Morgan Burnett hasn't played in a long time, said he feels great," McCarthy said. "I'm curious to just see (him) go through the week of practice."

Burnett expressed optimism afterward he would make his belated season debut Sunday.

"I feel good," Burnett said. "I did everything, I participated with everything today. Now, it's just keep pushing forward, see how the rest of the week goes and keep taking steps forward and not having any setbacks.

"Today was a plus. I didn't hold anything back. I was moving good, and I felt good about it."

Along with Starks and Kuhn, the notables not on the practice field Monday were linebacker Clay Matthews and tight end Jermichael Finley, both of whom were knocked out of the game at Cincinnati. Matthews aggravated a hamstring injury, and Finley sustained a concussion.

Matthews said after the Bengals game he hoped his setback wouldn't keep him from playing against the Lions.

The Packers addressed the possibility they would be short-handed again at running back by promoting undrafted rookie Michael Hill from the practice squad Monday.

Franklin, whom McCarthy said did limited work in practice, Lacy and Hill were the only running backs on the field Monday.

"My general sense is we improved," McCarthy said about the team's dicey health situation coming out of the bye week. "We had a number of guys test today, so we'll have that information for you on Wednesday."
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