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Pro Sports

One step forward and then another back for Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (MCT) — The Green Bay Packers are hoping to be a healthier team in the second half of the season and they made a couple of moves this week to help them get there.

On the last day in which they were able to activate him, tight end Andrew Quarless was moved from the physically unable to perform list to the 53-man roster, ending an 11-month recovery from two torn ligaments in his right knee.

Quarless joins linebacker Frank Zombo as another pair of fresh legs added to the roster from the PUP list in the last week. Both have been practicing for three weeks after sitting out all of training camp and the first six weeks of the regular season.

To make room for Quarless, the Packers put first-round draft choice Nick Perry on season-ending injured reserve. Perry underwent surgery on his left wrist this week after trying to play with a cast on it, ending a disappointing rookie campaign.

It is the second year in a row the Packers’ first-round pick has not been able to finish the season due to injury.

The first of those picks, however, tackle Derek Sherrod, received the best news he has had since suffering a broken tibia and fibula in his right leg against Kansas City Dec. 18. Rather than put him on injured reserve, they decided to declare him eligible to practice, giving him three weeks from Wednesday to get himself ready to play.

At the end of three weeks, the Packers must decide whether to activate him, put him on injured reserve or cut him. He will remain on PUP while he practices.

As late as two weeks ago, coach Mike McCarthy said Sherrod was not ready to begin practicing. However, with right tackle Bryan Bulaga having suffered what could be a serious hip injury, McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson decided to see if Sherrod could help them this year.

Sherrod played left and right tackle as well as left guard during his rookie season, playing in five games as a backup. The Packers don’t return to practice until Monday because of their bye, so Sherrod will really only have two weeks to show he’s ready.

The addition of Quarless gives the Packers five tight ends on the roster, the same number they had last year until Quarless got hurt. The third-year pro played in 10 games last year and only had three receptions for 36 yards. However, he was probably the team’s best run blocker late in the season.

He is up to 260 pounds and will be counted on to help the running game during the second half.

He joins Jermichael Finley, Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor to make up the team’s tight end corps.

Perry’s season ends in disappointment. The USC product was handed the starting left outside linebacker position and started five of the first six games, However, he injured his knee against Houston Oct. 14.

All indications were that he was recovering well from the knee injury, but his left wrist, which he injured during the second week of the season, was not recovering. He played all but the season opener with a cast on his wrist and it was finally determined that surgery was the best option.

Perry, who had 18 tackles, two sacks and a pass broken up, was adjusting to rushing the passer as a linebacker after playing end at USC, but he played solidly against the run.

The loss won’t devastate the defense because Erik Walden has been playing some of the best football of his career after rotating with Perry and then starting in Perry’s absence. In addition, Zombo’s return will add another option for the coaches.

The Packers are also facing the possibility of not having linebacker Clay Matthews after the bye due to a hamstring pull. Zombo will play a role in filling that void as well.

Meanwhile, the Packers worked out six players with practice squad eligibility, including former Chicago Bears running back Kahlil Bell, who ran for 121 yards on 23 carries against the Packers last season.

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