The Packers are riding a three-game winning streak into Week 14 and they could get running back Aaron Jones back to help their bid to make it four in a row.
Reporters at the open portion of Packers practice on Thursday shared photos and videos of Jones working in drills with the rest of the running backs. Jones has missed the team’s last two games with a knee injury and he’s missed five games overall this season.
The Packers play the Giants on Monday night, so they have two more practices before they will issue injury designations for Jones or any of their other injured players.
Dispatches from practice also noted that wide receiver Christian Watson, linebacker Quay Walker, and safety Darnell Savage were not on the practice field Thursday.
Giants tight end Darren Waller has not played since late October due to a hamstring injury. But coming out of New York’s bye week, Waller is nearing a return.
Via Dan Duggan of TheAthletic.com, Waller said on Wednesday that he’s been running routes and his hamstring is feeling good. He’s expecting to return to practice next week and hopes that he’ll be able to play against the Saints on Dec. 17 if all goes well.
Waller has appeared in eight games this year, catching 36 passes for 384 yards with a touchdown. His most productive game was on Oct. 22 when the Giants defeated the Commanders 14-7. He caught seven passes for 98 yards with his lone touchdown of the year that day.
Since catching 107 passes for 1,196 yards with nine touchdowns in 2020 for the Raiders, Waller has battled through injuries over the last few seasons. In 2022, he caught just 28 passes for 388 yards with three touchdowns in nine games. Las Vegas traded him to New York in March.
When Tommy DeVito replaced an injured Tyrod Taylor as the Giants quarterback during their Week Eight loss to the Jets, it didn’t look like there was much chance he’d be a long-term choice at the position.
The Giants avoided letting DeVito throw the ball for the entire second half before losing in overtime and the next two weeks weren’t much better, so his quick turnaround to playing winning football in a two victories before last week’s bye was a surprise. Even with that, it was also a surprise to many that the Giants opted to stick with him for this week because Taylor is back on the field after recovering from the rib injury that landed him on injured reserve.
DeVito was not one of those people.
“I wasn’t surprised but, at the same time, I didn’t know what was going to happen,” DeVito said at a Tuesday press conference. “I was told during the week, the bye week, that there was a decision that was going to be made and as soon as it was made that I would be made aware, and I was. I’m happy about it but at the same time, it’s still a job. You still have to go out and perform and do everything. It’s not like you’re at the top now, which is completely far from but just going to try to go out but just going to go out and try to get better every day and try to earn the respect of my teammates and my coaches and try to do that every play.”
At 4-8, the Giants can still harbor some hopes of making the playoffs. Those hopes could be all but extinguished with a loss to the Packers on Monday night, so the DeVito choice isn’t just about letting a rookie play out the string. While it remains to be seen what that means for the Giants, it’s a good sign for DeVito’s future in the league that he’s earned the team’s trust over the last month.
Mason Crosby has found a new team.
According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, the longtime Packers kicker is set to sign with the Rams’ practice squad, with the intention that he’ll join the 53-man roster in the near future.
Crosby, 39, has had workouts with various teams over the course of the season — including one with Los Angeles in October. But at that time, the Rams went with Lucas Havrisik to replace Brett Maher.
But Havrisik has missed three kicks in the last two weeks — two field goals and an extra point.
So now, the Rams will turn to the veteran Crosby, who was a Packers sixth-round pick in 2007 and played a franchise-record 258 straight games for the club through last season. He connected on 25-of-29 field goals last season, though only one from at least 50 yards. He was 37-of-39 on extra points.
The Packers elected to draft Anders Carlson in the sixth round of this year’s draft to replace Crosby.
Running back Kenyan Drake joined the Packers on Tuesday.
The NFL’s daily transaction report shows that Drake has signed to the practice squad in Green Bay. The Packers are the fourth team that the Drake has been part of in 2023.
Drake spent the summer with the Colts, played two games with the Ravens and spent time on the Browns practice squad before making his way to Wisconsin. He had one carry for no gain and two catches for 31 yards for Baltimore.
The Packers have been playing without Aaron Jones in recent weeks and have used Patrick Taylor and James Robinson in addition to AJ Dillon in his absence. Robinson was released from the practice squad in a corresponding move to Drake’s signing.