Starter Pack: Hope for Sherrod's return

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

Don’t write off tackle Derek Sherrod, who has not played or practiced in nearly two years, just yet.

The former first-round draft pick, who broke both of the bones in his lower right leg on Dec. 18, 2011, may be close to a return.

In fact, Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes Sherrod will come off the physically unable to perform list and play at some point this season.

McCarthy said he became convinced of that while watching Sherrod work out late this summer.

“I really felt at the end of training camp, his workouts went to a different level,” McCarthy said. “He’s in excellent shape. He’s obviously a lot stronger than he was this time last year. As I’ve stated, and it’s obvious, that was a very, very serious injury. He needed the extra time. He looks good; he’s champing at the bit.”

Players on PUP are eligible to begin practicing next week. They can begin doing so at any time during the following five weeks.

“Let’s be honest, the biggest hurdle he’ll have to get over next is pads,” McCarthy said. “He needs to get in pads and he needs to get in there. Once he gets over that hurdle I think he’ll be ready to go.”

Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com wrote more about some of the Packers’ PUP players, including Sherrod, defensive end Jerel Worthy and safety Sean Richardson.