Packers: Ty Montgomery cleared to play Sunday vs. Colts

November 5, 2016 GMT

GREEN BAY — Ty Montgomery is good to go, and that’s good news for the Green Bay Packers’ offense.

The wide receiver-turned- running back was removed from the team’s injury report Friday and has been cleared to play in Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field after sitting out last week’s one-point loss at Atlanta after symptoms from having the sickle-cell trait surfaced and concerned the Packers’ medical staff.

“Ty’s doing good,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. “This is more (a matter of) getting to it exactly where he needs to be, and just being cautious. But he looks great.”

The team’s doctors decided to hold Montgomery out of the game against the Falcons when he had blood appear in his urine, one of the symptoms of having sickle-cell trait. Montgomery was diagnosed previously but had never exhibited symptoms before, he said.

Montgomery said Friday that he didn’t want to talk too much about his illness, saying it was “because I’m over it.” Montgomery did say he was “able to do a little bit more” in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and given what a vital part of the offense he’d become in recent weeks, that should help the unit’s production against the Colts.

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Lining up in the backfield extensively against Dallas on Oct. 16 and Chicago on Oct. 20 after injuries decimated the backfield, Montgomery caught 10 passes in each of those games. Against the Bears, he accumulated 126 total yards from scrimmage, catching 10 passes for 66 yards and rushing nine times for 60 yards.

Of those 20 receptions over the two games, 13 came with Montgomery coming out of the backfield, which explains why he’s been working far more with running backs coach Ben Sirmans than with wide receivers coach Luke Getsy lately.

“He pretty much spends a lot of time with me in my meeting room,” Sirmans said. “The thing that helps is, he’s got a great grasp of what to do as a receiver whereas the running-back position is obviously a little new for him in terms of this offense. But he did it in high school, did some of it at Stanford, so we do spend a lot of time together. And I think (with) a guy of his ability, when you can blend both at a pretty good level, it makes you a pretty good weapon to have.”

The Packers also plan to use rookie Don Jackson, a traditional running back who was promoted from the practice squad last month, and fullback Aaron Ripkowski, who has been a revelation as a ball-carrier after being viewed largely as a blocker and special teams player.

“It’s probably more of just looking at our situation and understanding who we had in the backfield and who we didn’t have,” Sirmans said. “It kind of evolved into him getting more carries. It wasn’t as much as him coming to us, probably more of us making the decision, ‘Here’s a guy that we can use not only to be a blocker for us but carry the ball.’ ”

Extra points

The Packers also removed right guard T.J. Lang (hip) from the injury report, meaning he will play against the Colts. … The injury report wasn’t quite so certain about wide receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring), linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and cornerback Quinten Rollins (groin), all of whom were listed as questionable. “I think all three of those guys are making progress, but they’re going to need the full week,” McCarthy said, pointing out that the status of each player could change based on what they do in practice on Saturday. “I know Clay felt pretty good (Thursday). Q’s getting better. Randall’s not probably as far along as he’d like to be.” … Cornerback Demetri Goodson (concussion) is also listed as questionable. He’ll likely have to practice Saturday in order to play. … Although they made progress during the week, running back James Starks (knee) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle) were once again ruled out, as was cornerback Damarious Randall (groin) and center JC Tretter (knee).