Starter Pack: Sherrod's time could come

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
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A roundup of what's happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It went practically unnoticed, but former first-round draft pick Derek Sherrod played his first football in nearly two years on Sunday against the New York Giants.

Sherrod, who broke both bones in his lower right leg on Dec. 18, 2011, played exactly three snaps -- all on special teams as part of the field goal/PAT unit.

Still, it was a major step for a player who spent most of the last two seasons on the physically unable to perform list.

The question now is when could Sherrod get a crack at some playing time on offense?

Perhaps that could happen this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, depending on the status of right tackle Don Barclay's knee injury. Barclay did not play against the Giants and his replacement, Marshall Newhouse, struggled. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Newhouse ranked as the worst pass-blocking offensive tackle from Week 11. PFF ranked Newhouse 53rd out of the 53 tackles who played last week in its Pass Blocking Efficiency rating.

What's even more telling about Newhouse's performance is the PFF ranking is weighted heavily on sacks allowed, and Newhouse didn't even allow one against the Giants. However, he allowed two quarterback hits and four hurries.

It's hard to imagine the Packers playing Sherrod for an entire game given how long he has been away, but perhaps they may begin to integrate their 2011 first-round pick into the offense.

“Derek Sherrod had an excellent week of practice [last week],” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week. “His padded work on Thursday, I thought he took a huge step. You saw a lot of things that I think he needed to feel and see, and it's on video, and we're able to coach off of it. He hasn't been in training camp, and those type of practices are what he needs, and he'll have another padded practice this week.”

In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
  • All we know about Aaron Rodgers’ health at this point is that he can throw a football without any pain in his broken collarbone. But, as Rodgers said on his ESPN Milwaukee radio show Tuesday, it’s less about pain and more about risk management when it comes to returning to the field.
  • Our weekly playing time breakdown analyzes the snap counts from Sunday’s game against the Giants.
  • Not surprisingly, the Packers continued to slide down the ESPN Power Rankings.
  • For all the news on the Vikings this week, be sure to read Ben Goessling's coverage, which can be found here.
Elsewhere:

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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