GREEN BAY – A key piece to the Packers' offensive line is on the comeback trail.
Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins returned to practice on Tuesday after missing the last two games with a knee injury. He hurt the knee at Atlanta in Week 2, and Royce Newman has been filling in at left guard since.
Nothing's been decided as to whether Jenkins can return to the starting lineup next Monday in Las Vegas, but he has taken a big first step that could provide a significant boost to the Green Bay offense.
"Get out there, see how I feel, move it around a little bit to see where I'm at on the field," Jenkins said of his goal with Tuesday's workout, which he conducted with a brace on the injured knee. "Kind of took me back to my college days. Really don't like the brace, but I mean if it's best for me to be out there and be (functional), we can do it."
The Packers already are without left tackle David Bakhtiari indefinitely, with Bakhtiari going on injured reserve last week due to his troublesome knee, and right tackle Zach Tom played through last Thursday's loss to the Lions with a knee injury of his own.
Also, right guard Jon Runyan did not practice Tuesday, as he's dealing with an ankle injury from last week's game.
Second-year pro Rasheed Walker has taken Bakhtiari's place at left tackle, so he'll become Jenkins' new neighbor up front once the two-time Pro Bowler is cleared for game action.
"We're growing, talking, making sure the things that I learned, I give to him," Jenkins said. "You've got to be able to see the game within the game and be able to go out there and play fast."
Personnel inconsistency up front has contributed to the Packers' struggles to get their running game going this season, so Jenkins' potential return could really help in that regard.
So would getting running back Aaron Jones back to full strength. Jones was on a snap count last Thursday vs. Detroit due to his hamstring injury and was back on the practice field Tuesday as well.
Also practicing were rookie tight end Luke Musgrave, who left the Lions game due to a concussion; receiver Christian Watson, who like Jones was on a rep count last game coming back from a hamstring injury; and cornerback Jaire Alexander, who has missed the last two games with a back injury.
Another positive sight on the practice field was cornerback Eric Stokes, who remains on the physically unable to perform list, but participated in practice for the first time since last November, when knee and foot injuries ended his season. Stokes' 21-day activation window is now open, and the Packers can put him on the 53-man roster at any point within that time.
"It's been a long time," Stokes said. "It's been almost like a year, so it felt good being back out there today. It felt great."