Starting fullback William Henderson and rookie cornerback Will Blackmon returned to practice on Monday for the Packers, and Henderson expects to be ready for Sunday's season opener.
Henderson, a 12-year veteran who has missed only two of 192 games in his career and just one since his rookie season, had arthroscopic surgery to clean up cartilage in his knee two weeks ago and was projected to be out anywhere from three to six weeks.
Should he take the field on Sunday against the Bears, Henderson will have returned to game shape one day shy of three weeks from the surgery.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Henderson was a bit sore after practice on Monday, but Henderson doesn't expect that to keep him from playing.
"I had no problems, just fitting in what the coaches have me fit in," Henderson said. "It's a go."
Meanwhile Blackmon, a fourth-round draft choice out of Boston College, was on the field for the first time since breaking his foot in May during the second post-draft mini-camp. He missed all of June's organized team activities (OTAs) and all of training camp and isn't back to full speed, but McCarthy said he made significant strides last week in his rehab.
"They limited me to individual (drills), the same thing they did with Ahman Green and Brady (Poppinga), just to ease back into it and get the feel back a little bit," Blackmon said.
Blackmon won't be available for Sunday's game against the Bears. If his comeback schedule follows that of his teammates, he may be able to play by the end of the month. Green and Poppinga got their first game action three weeks to the day after they returned to practice for individual drills.
"It's been stressful, not being able to play with your boys," said Blackmon, adding he has never had to take this much time away from football. "I haven't put pads on since the Senior Bowl, so that part's been tough. But I try to be positive day by day, go through the motions and do what I have to do."
One thing added to his workload at practice Monday was punt returns. A converted wide receiver, Blackmon is no stranger to having the ball in his hands and would welcome the role should the Packers want him to take it on.
"It's something I've done in college," he said. "I'm a skill player, I'm a gamer, so that's what I want to do."