At least the Green Bay Packers got one of their two injured stars back on the practice field Thursday.
Lacy dropped out of practice on Tuesday because of a sore foot, but coach Mike McCarthy said there were no restrictions on his starting running back when he returned.
However, there remains no clear timeline for Matthews' return. He has been out since Monday because of a sore knee.
It not only has slowed Matthews' ongoing education at inside linebacker but combined with other injuries, it has left the Packers short at both linebacker positions. Outside linebacker Nick Perry did not practice Thursday because of a groin injury, the same ailment that has kept outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard out since Tuesday. Plus, outside linebacker Mike Neal (abdomen) remains on the physically unable to perform list.
"I think Clay's learning obviously started April 15, when the players came back, so the opportunity to go through the whole offseason primarily in the inside linebacker room has been very beneficial," McCarthy said. "By the time he left here in June, he was light years ahead of where he was at the end of the season. I'm not concerned about that."
The Packers had their longest injury list training camp so far with nine players out – Matthews, Neal, Perry, Hubbard, receivers Jared Abbrederis (concussion), Ricky Collins (heel) and Adrian Coxson (concussion), running back John Crockett (ankle) and tackle Vince Kowalski (concussion).
Cornerback Sam Shields missed the first 90 minutes of practice because of a dental appointment.