Green Bay got a significant boost Sunday when training camp resumed as three important players returned to practice.
Offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, tight end Robert Tonyan and wide receiver Christian Watson were all activated off the physically unable to perform list and took part in individual drills for the first time in camp.
“It is the next step. We’re excited about it. I think the guys are really excited about it as well,” coach Matt LaFleur said before practice. “They’re going to feel more a part of it. But we’re still going to be make sure we do it the right way, because you’re talking about significant injuries and certainly their health and safety is at the forefront of every decision we make.”
Jenkins suffered a torn ACL against Minnesota last November, but has been seen rehabbing on the side of the practice field throughout the offseason and into training camp. That he’s back roughly nine months since the injury is very good news for an unsettled offensive line.
“I think Elton’s done everything that everybody’s asked him to do in regards to the rehab process,” LaFleur said. “He’s been super disciplined and he’s putting the work in. That’ll be a big boost when he is fully cleared to help us out because there’s not too many guys that are, No. 1, as talented as he is, but are also as versatile as he is. I mean we can put them anywhere on that line. Shoot, we probably could line them up a tight end. Maybe we will, I don’t know.”
LaFleur would not speculate on where Jenkins would end up playing, but both guard spots and right tackle are currently undecided.
Tonyan sustained a torn ACL about three weeks earlier than Jenkins last season, while Watson, the team’s second-round pick, underwent knee surgery right after the end of OTAs in June.
LaFleur said they haven’t ruled out any of the three playing in the preseason, though he told reporters not to hold their breath over the possibility.
By activating the three off the PUP, it means they will be eligible to play at the start of the season. Those on the PUP when rosters are cut to 53 players must miss the first four weeks of the season.