GREEN BAY, Wis. — Receiver Davante Adams was back on his feet, in uniform, bouncing around the practice field and joking with teammates.
It was a welcome sight for the Green Bay Packers.
Adams returned to practice Wednesday after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan that led to the receiver being carted off the field on a stretcher.
Adams was taken to a hospital for evaluation after being knocked out of the game on Sept. 28 and was released the next day. Adams is in the concussion protocol, though his return to practice on a limited basis is a good sign.
"I’m just glad to see him walking again, more importantly," receiver Randall Cobb said. "When I went to the hospital and saw him the other night he was back to his normal self, joking around, trying to break out of the hospital. I’m just glad to see him in good health."
Trevathan’s two-game suspension by the NFL was reduced to one this week. Coach Mike McCarthy said he understood the league’s decision.
"Discipline action in this league, there’s a process that’s in existence for quite some time and I’m comfortable with the process and understand the decision," McCarthy said.
Adams’ injury was the latest in a long string of maladies that dogged the Packers over the first quarter of the season. Starting running back Ty Montgomery was also knocked out of the Bears game with broken ribs .
The weekend off seemed to do the team a lot of good. Wednesday was the first day back on the practice field, but there was already a noticeable difference in prep work on Tuesday.
"Guys did feel good. There’s a lot of energy," McCarthy said before practice.
Montgomery appeared to be wearing a protector under his jersey during practice. Backup running back Jamaal Williams, who was also knocked out of the Bears game with a knee injury, was a full participant.
Overall, Green Bay still has 11 players on the injury report, but only linebacker Joe Thomas (ankle) missed practice. Among other injured players, cornerback Davon House (quad), defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hip) and starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle) were also limited.
Perhaps the Packers are finally on their way to becoming whole again. They went 3-1 despite the disjointed start with all the injuries.
"As a whole, as an offence, we don’t expect anything different if somebody else is in there, if it’s the No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 guy," said receiver Geronimo Allison, who has filled in well when Nelson, Cobb and Adams have been hurt.
"That’s the thing, you don’t know what the full potential is until we’re all out there and we continue to do it consistently," Allison added. "The sky is the limit for us."
RANDALL BENCHING: Starting cornerback Damarious Randall offered few details on why he was benched in the second half of the 35-14 win over Chicago. The third-year player was spotted sitting on the bench after halftime with his arms outstretched to either side before McCarthy sent him to the locker room.
Bears receiver Kendall Wright caught a 5-yard touchdown pass with 8 seconds left in the first half. Trailing behind Wright, Randall turned around and threw both his arms up in apparent frustration after the score.
Wednesday was the first time Randall met with reporters since the game. He said he’s spoken with teammates, but otherwise cited an "internal matter" when asked what happened on the play or afterward.
"Just kind of growing up. Just being a little bit more professional," Randall said about what he learned from the situation.
House, a seven-year veteran and leader of the cornerback group, said the team has moved on.
"I don’t know if anyone’s even worried about it anymore," House said. "We’re happy to have him back. He said what he needed to say and everyone forgives him."