The Green Bay Packers' lengthy list of nonparticipants should look a little leaner this week. On Tuesday, head coach Mike McCarthy announced that wide receiver Ty Montgomery, tight end Jared Cook and linebacker Sam Barrington will practice for the first time since training camp opened, signaling their activation from the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Though the team had long expressed optimism regarding Cook and Barrington's eventual activations, less positivity surrounding Montgomery. Within the past few weeks, the wideout revealed that he underwent microfracture surgery on the ankle he injured in Week 6 of the 2015 season. At the same time, neither Montgomery nor the Packers discussed any timetable for his return, leading to questions about his availability for Week 1 of the upcoming season. Montgomery's activation therefore represents an important breakthrough for the second-year man.
The news comes on the heals of Aaron Rodgers revealing that fellow receiver Jordy Nelson expects to make his own return to the field sometime in the next week. As such, the Packers could soon have their full compliment of weapons for the first time in a calendar year.
As for Barrington, he potentially faces an uphill battle for his old starting job. Jake Ryan has practiced with the No. 1 defense all offseason, and rookie Blake Martinez has surprised the coaches with his NFL-readiness and overall understanding of defensive coordinator Dom Capers' scheme. Barrington could go from the one certainty at inside linebacker heading into 2015 to a backup the following season.
With Montgomery, Cook and Barrington coming off the PUP list, only Nelson and center Corey Linsley remain unavailable for practice.