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Cheese Curds, 10/4: Eric Stokes & Elgton Jenkins are on their way back

The Packers’ depth at two key positions should be massively improved when these two players are back on the field.

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Green Bay Packers Training Camp Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Since Elgton Jenkins’ injury in week two, the Green Bay Packers’ pass protection has been struggling mightily. Jenkins has been one of the NFL’s best interior pass-protectors when allowed to stay at guard, and the dropoff from him to Royce Newman has been substantial. Sure, David Bakhtiari’s absence has been a problem as well, but Jenkins is an All-Pro caliber lineman in his own right and his absence has been missed badly.

Thankfully, after missing two and a half games, it appears that Jenkins may be on track to return in time for the Packers’ next contest on Monday Night Football. He was back at practice on Tuesday for the first time since his injury, and he reported no pain — arguably the biggest step in a player’s return from a sprained MCL.

Meanwhile, a teammate on the other side of the football is also on the path to returning to the field as Eric Stokes also practiced for the first time this season. The gruesome injury he suffered last season seems to be well behind him; in fact, that particular issue was behind him as early as the start of camp, only to find him dealing with a nagging injury that has become all too common around Green Bay these days.

Stokes’ return may not be imminent this week. After all, the Packers have a bye week after Monday’s game, so they may want to give him a bit more time to get back into game shape. But if he can come back and show some of the promise that he displayed as a rookie in 2021, that would give the Packers a solid group of four outside cornerbacks, with Stokes joining starters Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas as well as impressive rookie Carrington Valentine.

The Packers’ will wait until Thursday to release their first injury report of the week due to their Monday night game, but signs are pointing in the positive direction for now.

Hamstring injuries delayed comeback of Packers CB Eric Stokes | Packers Wire
Stokes says he was running at full speed early in training camp, but it was issues with one of his hamstring -- not his injured knee and ankle -- that kept him on the PUP list until his return to practice on Tuesday.

Elgton Jenkins among players returning to practice for Packers |
While Stokes returned to the practice field on Tuesday, so did Jaire Alexander, Luke Musgrave, and perhaps most importantly, Jenkins.

Which 2023 NFL Draft picks have excelled so far? Our early All-Rookie Team - The Athletic ($)
Musgrave is one of six Packers who earned honorable mention on this list of the best rookies in the NFL this season.

Plagued by Penalties, Packers’ Special Teams Off to So-So Start - Sports Illustrated
If not for the penalties, these units would probably be a solid improvement over last season. To wit: the Packers lead the NFL in special teams penalties with 10 (next-closest is six) and penalty yards with 96 (next-closest is 55).

Which NFL players have helped themselves in their next contracts? - ESPN+ ($)
Rashan Gary is going to get his bag sometime this season. It's only a matter of when and how much.

Chinese snooker star forfeits opening frame for wearing wrong trousers at English Open | Sky News
If you think the NFL is serious about uniform infractions, at least the league just fines its players rather than making them go out and buy the right items and miss a portion of the game if they're not 100% up to code.