Although the Green Bay Packers have been busy putting players on injured reserve recently, one key role player is working his way off that list. Three weeks ago, tight end/H-back Dominique Dafney was a surprise addition to the injured reserve list after suffering a hip injury during practice.
Dafney missed the last three games with that injury after landing on the list, but as of Wednesday he has started his return back from IR. He was participating in practice Wednesday afternoon, according to beat writers on the scene, which means that the team has formally designated him for return.
The Packers will now have three weeks from today to activate Dafney back to the 53-man roster or return him to injured reserve. Should he revert to IR once again, he would be ineligible to return in 2021. However, the injury was not expected to be serious when he went on the reserve list and, given his practice status today, he may even be a candidate to be reactivated in time for this Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
If Dafney does play in week six, he will do so at the site of his biggest game as a rookie. At Soldier Field in week 17 last season, Dafney caught his only career touchdown pass, a 13-yarder from Aaron Rodgers, then immediately made a massive tackle on the ensuing kickoff.
Whenever Dafney is able to return, he should give the Packers’ backfield and running game a boost. Josiah Deguara picked up some snaps as an H-back in Dafney’s absence, but the former third-round draft pick has been generally ineffective as a blocker and absent as a receiver. It is clear that the Packers prefer Dafney on the field to Deguara; Dafney played a combined 48 snaps on offense and 22 more on special teams in the Packers’ first two games this season, while Deguara lined up for just five offensive plays and six special teams snaps in the week one game, the only contest in which both players were active this season.