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Ty Montgomery's injury gives Jamaal Williams more reps with starters

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There wasn't one moment or one play that caused Ty Montgomery to grab his lower leg in agony, which is why the Green Bay Packers running back tried to play off his injury -- which he would describe in no more detail than calling it a "soft-tissue" problem -- as nothing major.

Montgomery did not practice on Tuesday and his status for Saturday's second preseason game at Washington is in doubt. Montgomery carried three times in last week's preseason opener and fumbled before he gave way to rookie Jamaal Williams.

"It was just something on and off, something I'm dealing with," Montgomery said after practice. "Nothing in particular that happened, nothing major, nothing to worry about."

Montgomery said he "took the day off" so that the injury did not worsen.

For Montgomery and the rest of the Packers' inexperienced backs, practice reps are critical to figuring out where things stand with the run game before the Sept. 10 regular-season opener against the Seahawks.

The Packers did not get much going in the running game in the preseason opener against the Eagles. Among the top four running backs, none had a gain longer than 5 yards.

"Our run offense wasn't what it needed to be," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

It's Montgomery's third professional training camp but first as a running back after making the midseason switch from receiver last year.

"The practice reps are crucial, but when you see it live, I think the practice reps prepare you for it," Montgomery said.

It's important for the Packers to get more than one running back ready, so Tuesday's practice gave Williams the chance to work extensively with the starters -- something that he started to do in small doses last week. Williams, a fourth-round pick, got the first reps, but fellow rookies Aaron Jones (fifth round) and Devante Mays (seventh round) also saw their workload increase in practice.

"It's going to be important for him to step in there because running back is a tough position," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of Williams. "You're always dealing with nicks and bruises throughout the season, so we need multiple guys there that can do it. He's done a nice job mentally, that's the biggest jump for a running back, they're asked to do so many things in pass protection, route running. Obviously running the football, he can just go out there and make his reads like he's done since he was a kid. He obviously can run it well. We've got to get him more opportunities to run the ball. But everything else he's been spectacular. He's definitely improving."