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Cheese Curds, 11/30: Several Packers on track to return early from injuries

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Green Bay appears to be getting some reinforcements soon.

Baltimore Ravens v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are getting some good news this week regarding a few of their injured players. The team’s Wednesday injury report was encouraging, as a pair of key youngsters — defensive tackle Kenny Clark and running back Aaron Jones — returned to practice, along with veteran edge-rusher Clay Matthews.

Having Clark and Clay back would be a boon for the team’s rushing defense, which was gashed for 121 yards by the Steelers last Sunday in its worst performance since the bye week. Meanwhile, Jones’ return would add an intriguing wrinkle into the game plan for Mike McCarthy and company regarding the team’s running back situation.

Then there’s the Aaron Rodgers factor. Although he is eligible to return to practice this weekend, there is no guarantee he will do so. Still, one of the teammates closest to Rodgers seems to think he’ll be ready to go when league rules allow.

Stay tuned this week for more on the injured players as the Packers prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Packers can still make Aaron Rodgers return worthwhile | Packersnews.com
Here’s Pete Dougherty’s take — if the Packers win the next two games and sit at 7-6, and if Rodgers is indeed ready to return against the Panthers for week 15, he should do so. If they lose one on either of the next two Sundays, then shut him down.

Clay Matthews sure sounds confident Aaron Rodgers will be back Week 15 | Packers Wire
The OLB seems to think Rodgers will be ready, though. Matthews suggested that the team should not have put Rodgers on injured reserve (which they chose not to do in 2013). Is Matthews just being overly optimistic about his buddy's ability to recover quickly, or is he seeing something in particular that makes him think he could play sooner than the eight-week return timeline for IR?

Aaron Jones' return could force Packers to make tough RB decision - ESPN
Wiliiams has been a workhorse and deserves to get some carries, but this writer believes that Jones should be the starter upon his return as he provides far more explosiveness and big-play ability.

Home-cooking helped Kenny Clark's healing process | Packers.com
Clark injured his ankle just a week and a half ago, and when he was being carted to the locker room he thought his season was over. However, he practiced on Wednesday and could be available as soon as this Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Eli Manning got benched because Ben McAdoo is desperate to save his job - SBNation.com
Multiple Giants coaches have said that McAdoo and QB coach Frank Cignetti have been complaining about Manning and his abilities for a while. Why did McAdoo pick now to make the move - and why is Geno Smith starting instead of Davis Webb? There are lots of unanswered questions here.

Chargers CB Casey Hayward returns home after brother dies - NFL.com
Our condolences go out to Hayward, the former Packer, whose younger brother died in a car accident this week.