GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers loved seeing Davante Adams going out for passes in practice Wednesday. He was happy to have Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari back as part of his protection crew on Clarke Hinkle Field. And he was pleased to see his top two running backs, Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams, in uniform.
But the Green Bay Packers quarterback isn’t necessarily expecting to have his entire band back together for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. He’d love it if that happened, but he’s certainly not counting on it just yet.
“That’s a big if,” Rodgers said after practice. “We’re not sure who’s going to be back yet.”
There were some encouraging signs, however.
Adams, who is still in the concussion protocol after a wicked hit from Chicago’s Danny Trevathan last week, did practice on a limited basis, doing drill work with his fellow wide receivers during the portion of practice open to reporters.
Bulaga and Bakhtiari — the team’s bookend offensive tackles who’ve yet to play together this season — also were limited, though 11-on-11 work is done after reporters depart practice, so it’s unclear how much they did during team periods.
In fact, only one player — linebacker Joe Thomas, who injured his ankle against the Bears — didn’t practice at all. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels, who hasn’t played since re-injuring his hip Sept. 17 at Atlanta, also took part, as did cornerback Davon House, who hasn’t played since suffering a quadriceps injury against the Falcons.
Montgomery, who on Tuesday confirmed he broke “multiple” ribs against the Bears, was limited, while Williams said his knee injury was just a bruise and practiced in full.
“I’m good. It’s just bruised,” Williams said. “I’m running around and everything, so I’ll be able to go.”
Because he’s still in the concussion protocol, Adams is forbidden from talking to reporters until he gains full clearance. But he was seen in the locker room joking around with fellow receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Last year, Adams was diagnosed with a concussion against the Cowboys in an Oct. 16 game and was cleared four days later in time for a Thursday night game against Chicago.
“Incredible. He can recover from those rapidly, apparently,” Nelson said. “But it’s good to have him back out there. Like we said Thursday night, his health was the most important thing. Once that’s squared away, we love to have him back. He’s back and seems to be his normal self, running around and talking in meetings and stuff like that.”
Bulaga said the extra time off for the mini-bye weekend helped, but he stopped short of proclaiming himself ready to return, saying there are “still some issues” he’s working through with the ankle.
“It’s probably one of those things that’s going to linger for awhile. That’s just the way it’s going to be,” said Bulaga, who hurt the ankle in an Aug. 23 practice, missed the first two games, then re-injured it against the Cincinnati Bengals “I’m just going to have to get it to a point where it’s manageable enough and then just try to take care of it the rest of the way and keep it manageable. That’s the reality of it. We don’t really have the time to get it to 100 percent. I think that’s unrealistic.
“Obviously (re-injuring it) is not something you want to happen but that’s kind of where we’re at, unfortunately. You try to get it as ready as you can and go out there and play.”
Bakhtiari, out since pulling his hamstring in the Sept. 10 opener against Seattle, did not speak during the media’s locker-room access period.
Third-year cornerback Damarious Randall wouldn’t discuss what got him sent to the locker room by coach Mike McCarthy during last week’s game against the Bears. All he would say — in between repeatedly insisting it was an “internal matter” — was admit he has some “growing up” to do and that he needs to be “a little bit more professional.”
Randall was benched to start the third quarter after giving up a touchdown just before halftime and was seen sulking on the sideline while Josh Hawkins took his place in the defense. McCarthy later sent him to the locker room for his behavior, but the team stood by the 2015 first-round pick.
During a brief conversation with reporters — his first comments since the incident — Randall refused to even acknowledge if he had a disagreement with his position coach, cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, or another coach after being benched.
“I talked with coach (McCarthy) on Friday, and ever since then everything is clear,” Randall said. “Just taking it day by day.”
Said McCarthy: “It’s been addressed and we’re moving forward.”
Asked where he goes from here, Randall replied, “Just do whatever the coaches ask me to do and just take it day by day. And do whatever the team needs me to do to win games.”