To prove that he can become the Green Bay Packers third line line guard

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Jake Ryan is used to reacting quickly. His job requires it. But a prom proposal is not something he has prepared for recently. So when Victoria Donbeck, a junior at Wittenberg-Birnamwood high school, asked him to the April 22 dance, he was caught off guard momentarily.

Then, with the score 17-0, linebacker Jake Ryan had a chance to recover a botched direct snap to motioning receiver Taylor Gabriel. But he couldn’t corral the ball, and the Falcons avoided the miscue.

Instead of getting the ball in Atlanta territory with a chance to get back in the game, the Packers eventually trailed 24-0 at halftime.

The group answered questions in the break room at Ironwood Plastics and everyone present learned that Michigan alum and Packers linebacker Jake Ryan was making his first visit to the Upper Peninsula.

In addition to Murphy, Packers all-time leading rusher Ahman Green, former kicker Ryan Longwell, former receiver Robert Ferguson, and current Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski, linebacker Jake Ryan, and quarterback Brett Hundley are all participating on this year’s tour.

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The Green Bay Packers signed TE Beau Sandland to the practice squad and released RB Brandon Burks from the practice squad. The transactions were announced Friday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.

While Packers linebacker Joe Thomas Jr. was en route to Green Bay Packers jerseys Washington, D.C., on Saturday, his father was making history at South Carolina State.

At 55 years old, Joe Thomas Sr. is believed to be the oldest player to ever participate in an NCAA Division I football game after gaining three yards on a carry during the first quarter of the Bulldogs’ 32-0 win over Savannah State on Saturday.

All offseason, Joe Thomas was driven to prove he could be a three-down linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.

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The former undrafted free agent out of South Carolina State earned a role in the Packers’ defense a year ago, handling the inside linebacker responsibilities in the dime package.

Thomas was grateful, but not satisfied. He trained with the goal of putting 10 pounds onto his frame to better equip himself for playing the run in first- and second-down situations.Nike Packers #36 Nick Collins Green Stitched NFL Jersey

After it initially appeared the rookie Martinez would assume an every-down responsibility, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers deployed a familiar face at the core of his third-down defense with Thomas reprising his role as the dime linebacker.

The Packers’ defense opened the game with a three-and-out, as LB Joe Thomas had WR Golden Tate tightly covered on third-and-4 on the first series.

That’s where he played most of his 335 snaps last season, registering 26 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in 14 regular-season games. He also developed into a core special-teams player, tying for fourth on team with nine coverage tackles.

While the former undrafted free agent was thankful for the opportunity, Thomas didn’t want the takeaway from his first NFL season to be that he only could play in passing situations on third down.

Christine Michael is doing a really good job

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It’s been a little more than a week since Christine Michael arrived in Green Bay, but the fourth-year running back already feels ready to contribute.

Michael told reporters on Wednesday that he’s “been in my playbook like crazy” since the Packers claimed him off waivers last week, developing enough comfort in the scheme to potentially play in Monday night’s game in Philadelphia.

Asked what Michael might be able to do against the Eagles, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said during his Friday morning news conference that the newly acquired running back’s preparation could put him in position to contribute Monday.

While all his new teammates were fast asleep, Christine Michael was busy boarding a red-eye flight out of Seattle on Wednesday night.

“Christine Michael is doing a really good job,” said McCarthy. “I really liked the way he practiced on Wednesday. He’ll get more today. It would be nice to have him part of our rotation come Monday night. We just have to continue to work the plan. This is our workload day today. He’s fit in really nice. So I’m glad he’s here; that’s for sure.”

The Packers saw enough in Christine Michael’s late-season audition to take another look at the fifth-year running back.

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The 26-year-old running back officially re-signed with the team Thursday after rushing for 114 yards and a touchdown in six regular-season appearances last season.

The Green Bay Packers claimed RB Christine Michael off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks and placed RB Don Jackson on injured reserve. The transactions were announced Wednesday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.

The Green Bay Packers have re-signed LB Nick Perry. Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the signing Thursday.

“There’s always been flashes,” said Perry. “There’s always been times where I was able to do what I wanted to do.”

As soon as it looked like the Packers linebacker’s luck had changed, however, a setback quickly followed. For every hurdle Perry jumped over, another was immediately put in front of him.

That finally changed in 2016 when the former first-round pick enjoyed the first full offseason program of his career. Injury-free, Perry was positioned to make a lasting impact.

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The Green Bay Packers have re-signed LB Nick Perry. Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the signing Thursday.NFL Men's Nike Green Bay Packers #92 Reggie White Stitched Green Olive Salute To Service KO Performance Hoodie

Green Bay Packers players Julius Peppers and Nick Perry will be supporting the Salvation Army on Monday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Lambeau Field Atrium, by signing autographs for fans in exchange for monetary donations.

The Packers always have known what Nick Perry is capable of when healthy. As the Packers linebacker saw the double-team form in front of him during the waning moments of Sunday’s game against Dallas, Perry’s instincts were to follow Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott through his progressions to perfectly time the throw.

Nobody on the Packers’ sideline wanted to see Jared Cook exit in the second quarter of an eventual 34-27 win over Detroit two weeks ago. Green Bay Packers jerseys

At the same time, no one in the offensive huddle blinked when Richard Rodgers jogged onto the field to replace the eighth-year veteran tight end.

In the aftermath of last season, Richard Rodgers had a goal for 2016.

Going into his third NFL season, the Packers’ tight end was looking to trim down to around 257 pounds, his NFL Scouting Combine weight from two years ago.

Perry, who was selected by Green Bay in the first round (No. 28 overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern California, has played in 60 games with 28 starts during his five seasons with the Packers and has recorded 190 tackles (127 solo), 23.5 sacks, one interception, eight passes defensed, five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Blake Martinez’s life on one of the biggest stages in college football

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This is Blake Martinez in a nutshell. He doesn’t drink – not even soda – do drugs and rarely helps himself to dessert. Since early in high school, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker has been incredibly health-conscious and goal-driven.

His transformation began when he was a freshman in high school. Martinez, like most kids, was fond of PB&Js, so when the football coaches told him to eat up every night, the young defensive lineman happily obliged the request.

Blake Martinez didn’t want to be a pest, but the opportunity in front of him was too good to pass up.

As soon as the Packers’ rookie linebacker discovered his locker was only one spot over from Aaron Rodgers’, Martinez vowed to capitalize on the arrangement.

Blake Martinez was nervous his chance at nabbing his first career interception had escaped him on Thursday night against Chicago.

The Packers’ rookie linebacker, trailing Bears receiver Cameron Meredith up the seam, turned his head in time to have a Matt Barkley pass ricochet off his hands with a little more than 5 minutes remaining in the eventual 26-10 victory over the Bears.

“Since I’ve gotten here, I know injuries and things have allowed me to kind of step in here,” Martinez said. “It’s obviously tough to step in because of those reasons, but I’ve tried to take advantage of it.”

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There were no communication helmets at Stanford. Every call Martinez relayed as a four-year starter was signaled in from the sideline.

It was one of the greatest moments of Blake Martinez’s life on one of the biggest stages in college football.

The future Packers linebacker had nine tackles and Green Bay Packers jersey cheap a half sack in Stanford’s dominating 45-16 win over Iowa, handing the Cardinal its second Rose Bowl championship in four years.

The Green Bay Packers signed LB Derrick Mathews. The transaction was announced Tuesday by Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations.

The Green Bay Packers signed LB Derrick Mathews to the practice squad. The transaction was announced Wednesday by Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations.

Mathews (6 feet, 232 pounds), a first-year player out of the  University of Houston, was originally signed to the Washington Redskins’ practice squad on Nov. 23, 2015. He was released by  Washington on Jan. 5, 2016, before being re-signed by the Redskins on Jan. 14 and then released on May 2. Mathews spent part of the 2016 training camp with Green Bay. He finished his collegiate career ranked fifth in UH history with 400 career tackles. Mathews will wear No. 49 for the Packers.

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That’s why the Packers have activated six at the same position, at least one more than normal for the 46-man gameday roster. Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis and rookie Trevor Davis are also available. Janis was on the injury report earlier in the week but was removed on Friday. Max McCaffrey, signed to the active roster from the practice squad on Saturday, is the only receiver not active.Nike Packers #87 Jordy Nelson White Men's Stitched NFL Limited Rush Jersey

For Nelson, if he catches three passes, he will take over the top spot all-time in franchise postseason history. Nelson has 48 receptions in the postseason in his career, one behind Donald Driver and two behind Greg Jennings.

The Green Bay Packers have signed WR Max McCaffrey to the practice squad. The transaction was announced Tuesday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.

First and foremost, his older brother Max is a receiver on Green Bay’s current roster. A rookie last season out of Duke, Max McCaffrey joined the Packers’ practice squad in December and was elevated to the 53-man roster the day before the NFC title game in Atlanta due to Green Bay’s injuries at wide receiver, though he was a gameday inactive.

While Max went undrafted a year ago and originally signed with the Raiders as a rookie free agent, Christian is considered among the top four running backs in the 2017 draft class and could go in the first round.

Janis undergoes surgery to repair the right hand bone

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The Green Bay Packers have signed WR Antwan Goodley to the practice squad and placed TE Devon Cajuste on the practice squad; injured list. The transactions were announced Tuesday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.

Goodley, a 5-foot-10, 212-pound first-year player, originally signed with the Dallas Cowboys on May 8, 2015, as an undrafted free agent. After being released by Dallas on Sept. 1, he spent parts of  December and January on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad last season. He was released by Seattle on Sept. 3, 2016, but did spend a couple weeks on its practice squad in September. He will wear No. 19 for the Packers.

Developmental prospects Max McCaffrey (older brother of highly touted Stanford running back Christian) and Antwan Goodley will be competing for roster spots, but they won’t be the only ones.

The Packers routinely bring 10 or more receivers to training camp, so a draft pick and/or rookie free agents will soon be on their way to Green Bay as well.

For Packers wide receiver Jeff Janis, a break means a chance to focus on a different game.

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The first time Jeff Janis broke his finger in high school, the future Packers receiver simply threw a club on his hand and switched to running back.

For the first time in six weeks, the Packers’ third-year receiver was cleared to catch passes on Monday without any kind of protection.

Janis underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in Green Bay Packers jersey authentic his right hand near the start of training camp, which caused him to miss all four of the Packers’ preseason games.

Although the injury has relegated Janis to the sideline on offense during the regular season, he has played 38 special-teams snaps with a protective club on his right hand in the Packers’ first three games.

Janis expects his veteran quarterback to view film of the Packers’ three-day minicamp – from which 15 select veterans, including Rodgers, were excused – and have feedback for him sometime between now and the start of training camp.

Rollins is still working to get cleared in the concussion protocol. He practiced on a limited basis both Wednesday and Thursday after sitting out all of last week following his injury in Detroit in Week 17.

Janis had a big game on special teams last week vs. the Giants in the wild-card round but took a shot to the thigh on a kickoff return and was limited in practice on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday.

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The Green Bay Packers have signed TE Lance Kendricks. Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the signing Saturday.Packers #52 Clay Matthews Camouflage Realtree Super Bowl XLV Stitched NFL Jersey

Kendricks was originally selected by the St. Louis Rams in the second round (47th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of the University of Wisconsin. He played in 93 games with 79 starts for the Rams in six seasons, including starting all 16 games in 2016. Last season Kendricks set a career high with 50 receptions for 499 yards (10.0 avg.) and two touchdowns. The Milwaukee native has totaled 204 receptions for 2,132 yards (10.5 avg.) and 17 touchdowns in his career.

The Milwaukee native and Rufus King High School graduate signed with the Packers Saturday, bringing the University of Wisconsin alumnus back to his home state after spending his first six NFL seasons with the Rams.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end was raised a Packers fan, constantly glued to the TV screen on Sundays. When he was a teenager, he even competed in a Punt, Pass & Kick competition at the Don Hutson Center.

The Packers are set to return 2016 third-round pick Kyler Fackrell

As the preseason drew to a close, Kyler Fackrell felt something click.

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The Packers’ outside linebacker fought the same battle all rookies face coming into the NFL – finding that right balance between thinking about your assignment and playing with reaction.

It took all summer for Fackrell to cultivate that confidence, but everything came into focus during the Packers’ preseason finale against Kansas City when the rookie third-round pick recorded 10 tackles (six for a loss) and a sack against the Chiefs.

Kyler Fackrell and his father, Darrell, laughed it off as a joke, but Kelley Moore couldn’t have been more serious.

Moore, the Mesa (Ariz.) High School football coach, was upfront and honest with the Fackrells about his belief that Kyler, a senior at the time, would one day play outside linebacker in the NFL.

“If I had been going through the whole process of training and Green Bay Packers jersey china  preparing for the combine and everything, I really wouldn’t have been able to have very much time with her since she was first born,” said Fackrell moments after the Packers selected him with the 88th overall pick.

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Every time the Packers’ offense has looked to Davante Adams for a spark this season, the third-year receiver has answered the call.Nike Packers #52 Clay Matthews Black Men's Stitched NFL Limited Gold Salute To Service Jersey

On Sunday, Adams provided a significant lift for the offense in the second quarter en route to finishing with six catches for a career-high 156 yards against Tennessee.

As they head into their second preseason game, Packers draft picks Jason Spriggs and Kyler Fackrell have both viewed their NFL debuts with a very critical eye.

Spriggs was solid and steady in his stint as the No. 2 left tackle last Friday vs. Cleveland, but he didn’t go into the film room to soak up all the praise for what he did right.

That was the case when he caught 233 passes from current Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in two seasons at Fresno State, and it hasn’t changed since Adams was selected by the Packers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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Coming off a career night against Chicago in which Adams caught 13 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, the Packers’ coaching staff approached the third-year receiver with a proposition entering last Sunday’s game in Atlanta.

Aside from Matthews and Perry, the Packers are set to return 2016 third-round pick Kyler Fackrell and undrafted free agent Reggie Gilbert, who spent all of his rookie season on the Packers’ practice squad.

The Packers are expecting big things out of Fackrell. In his rookie season, the former Utah State linebacker had 18 tackles and two sacks, both of which came prior to a hamstring injury that sidelined him for three games.

Whatever shape the linebacker room takes, Perry hopes to use the experience he’s gained over the last five years to help bring along the next generation of Packers pass-rushers.

Pressley (ju-RELL), 5-foot-10, 206 pounds, originally signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of the University of New Mexico on May 2, 2016, but was waived on Sept. 3. In 2015, he led the Lobos with 907 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. As a junior, he rushed for 1,083 yards and 12 touchdowns on 114 carries, leading the nation with a 9.5 yards-per-carry average. Pressley will wear No. 26 for the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers have re-signed LB Jayrone Elliott

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The Green Bay Packers have re-signed LB Jayrone Elliott. Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the signing Tuesday.

Elliott originally signed with the Packers as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Toledo in 2014. He has played in 38 regular-season games with Green Bay over the last three seasons, recording 33 tackles (27 solo), four sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, two passes defensed and 39 special teams tackles. In 2016, Elliott led the team with 13 tackles on special teams. He is the only Packer player to post a double-digit tackle total on special teams in each of the last three seasons.Green Bay Packers Nike KO Speed Wordmark Performance Hoodie Green

“I had never heard of water polo or even seen it until I got there,” Packers outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott said.

In all seriousness, though, Elliott’s three-week externship earlier this offseason in the Arizona State athletic department was an eye-opener to the business side of sports.

Elliott is getting back to his usual business now, just a week away from the start of the Packers’ offseason workouts on April 18. The third-year pass rusher and special-teamer has been working out in Green Bay and cheap green bay packers jersey sat down with on Monday to talk about his eventful offseason and his upcoming year.

Sitting in a special-teams meeting recently, the Packers’ third-year linebacker’s ears perked up when coordinator Ron Zook began naming veterans whom rookies and college free agents should aspire to emulate.

It surprised Elliott to hear his own name on Zook’s list. Not that praise was unfounded. After all, Elliott’s 26 coverage tackles lead the Packers’ special teams over the past two seasons. It’s just what the comment represents – he’s a veteran now.

While Elliott is still tugging on the defensive coattails of Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews in outside linebacker meetings, young players now look up to him on special teams.

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That’s one lesson Packers backup quarterback Brett Hundley is taking from his second NFL season.

It didn’t go as planned, beginning with an ankle injury that sidelined him for all but a couple dozen snaps in the preseason. The regular season wasn’t going to serve as Hundley’s playground unless disaster struck with Aaron Rodgers, but those preseason games were supposed to be his building blocks coming off a promising rookie year.

For a quarterback who plans on starting someday, somewhere in the NFL, though, Hundley still absorbed a lot through the 2016 season as he settled into his backup and scout-team role.

Specifically, he observed what a quarterback’s leadership meant for a team that went through some tough times.

“It’s been a blessing for me just to learn this year, learn from Aaron, understand the ups and downs,” Hundley said last week as he cleaned out his locker. “From 4-6 to the NFC Championship, that’s stuff sometimes if you don’t see it, when it happens you don’t know how to respond, and seeing all that stuff this year gives you calm, so when you’re in those situations, you’re not stressing or worried.

Davis was a prodigious kickoff returner at Cal.

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The Green Bay Packers have signed QB Joe Callahan to the active roster from the practice squad and released LB Carl Bradford. The transactions were announced Saturday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.

Callahan, a 6-foot-1, 216-pound rookie, was originally signed by Green Bay as an undrafted rookie out of Wesley College on May 6. After being released by the Packers on Oct. 13, he was claimed off waivers by the New Orleans Saints. Callahan was released by the Saints on Oct. 22 and claimed by the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 24, but was released on Nov. 29. He was signed to Green Bay’s practice squad on Dec. 2. In 2015, he became the first NCAA Division III quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season, earning the Gagliardi Trophy, the highest award in Division III football.

On Sunday, that moment finally arrived at the Georgia Dome courtesy of rookie receiver Trevor Davis and the other 10 players on the Packers’ punt-return team.

Davis, a fifth-round pick out of California, broke free for a 55-yard return with 5 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first half to set up his own 9-yard touchdown catch three plays later.

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That’s one of the attractions, definitely,” Wolf said. “A 4.3 guy, big hands, some production there in a good passing offense.Nike Packers #12 Aaron Rodgers Green Name & Number Pullover NFL Hoodie

“Anytime you can get a weapon in the fifth round, I think you have to do that.”

The Packers selected Davis (6-1, 188) with the 163rd overall pick. He spent the last two years catching passes from QB Jared Goff, who was drafted first overall by the Rams on Thursday night.

Davis had 64 receptions for 1,071 yards and seven TDs over the last two seasons after transferring from Hawaii. Wolf said it can make it easier to evaluate a receiver when he’s working with a bona fide pro prospect at QB.

Playing at Washington State in a game rapidly evolving into a shootout, Davis cranked up the contest’s pace even more in the third quarter. Just two minutes and 59 seconds apart, he brought back a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns.

The returns covered 100 and 98 yards, respectively. The speedy receiver became a blur, times two, pulling off in the length of a boxing round a single-game feat most returners never experience in their entire careers.

The rookie fifth-round draft pick from Cal caught just three passes for 24 yards, but that included a 9-yard TD on a diving catch right at the pylon for his first NFL score. That was just four plays after Davis himself put the Packers in position with a 55-yard punt return, Green Bay’s longest of the season.

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The Packers are pretty banged up at the receiver position at the moment. Only two of the six on the active roster, Randall Cobb and Trevor Davis jersey, were full participants during Wednesday’s practice in the Hutson Center.

Davis was a prodigious kickoff returner at Cal. His 24.7 yards per return rank fifth in school history, including a pair for touchdowns against Washington State during the 2014 season.

Still, he only touched the ball on punt returns 14 times in two seasons with his longest going for 24 yards. He’s already surpassed that mark twice on his first six NFL returns.

“There’s natural returners and Trevor is working towards that,” Zook said. “I think he has a chance to be a pretty good returner, but the other guys have to do their job also. It takes everybody doing their job.”

Davis’ effort on Sunday catapulted the Packers to third in the NFL with 13.9 yards per punt return on seven attempts. Now, Zook says it’s up to the special-teams unit to build on that success and create more opportunities in the second half of the season.

Ty Montgomery’s injury has been restored

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“It’s very important for Jordy Nelson to catch the football from Aaron Rodgers. That’s something that can’t get lost in his coming back,” McCarthy said. “Jordy’s human. Aaron throws the football differently than the other quarterbacks we have here. So it’s important for him to get that timing to see the football come out of his hand and get his head around when the ball’s in the air.”

While it’s unlikely the Packers’ Pro Bowl receiver will play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against Kansas City, Nelson told reporters Sunday that he’s expecting to participate in 11-on-11 team periods during practice this week.

It would be the first time Nelson has stepped on the field for full-speed work since he injured his left knee last August in Pittsburgh.

Their response was another 75-yard drive in five plays that began with Cook drawing a 30-yard defensive pass interference penalty.

With 20 seconds left in the half, Rodgers then threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Adams across the middle of the field despite a Jacksonville defender grabbing the quarterback’s jersey at the time he threw it.

On the other end, Adams fought off a defensive pass interference penalty by former Packers cornerback Davon House to propel the Packers ahead, 21-17 at halftime.

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That’s what Nelson wants to get back to. He’s not there yet, calling September the “ultimate target date,” but at this point there’s no reason to think he won’t hit it.

“I’m excited to play,” he said. “I think I said when (the injury) happened it would be the first time in 18 years I hadn’t played football in the fall. I’m excited to get back out there. I told my wife I’m excited to be sore. It’s a good sore to have. We look forward to that, but again, it’s a long ways away.”

Nelson isn’t the only Packers receiver awaiting clearance. Ty Montgomery also sat out of Tuesday’s practice as he recovers from season-ending ankle surgery. Like Nelson, he’s happy with his rehab and anxious to get back on the field.

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When exactly that will be for Nelson is yet to be determined, but he says he’ll be ready whenever that day finally arrives.

“We said OTAs was going to be up for debate and there’s a lot more higher-ups than me,” Nelson said. “Obviously, they’re being smart and they’re probably doing the Green Bay Packers jersey  right thing. But you always push the limit.”

As Brett Favre’s backup for two separate four-year stints in Green Bay, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson surely has plenty of stories he could share with his new protégé, rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.

That’s not to say his game didn’t get some work, though. Another way he has learned from Rodgers is bringing intense competitiveness to his scout-team work. Rodgers’ famous “belt” celebration originated after successful plays while running the scout team behind Hall of Famer Brett Favre.Nike NFL Green Bay Packers Heart & Soul NFL T-Shirt Black

Hundley didn’t mention any practice antics of his own, but whether he was pretending to be Eli Manning, Dak Prescott or Matt Ryan, he played those snaps with as much gusto as Rodgers used to.

Synonymous with the Lambeau Leap, Butler’s popularity in Green Bay remains unmatched to this day, but he also knows he doesn’t have the transcendent appeal of Brett Favre and White. Playing in the NFL’s smallest market also can make it more difficult to gain traction on a national level.

Former teammate, Edgar Bennett, and Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf have spoken fervently over the years about Butler possessing the necessary credentials. Yet, his phone has been silent every November when the semifinalists are announced.