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Jimmy Graham, Aaron Rodgers set to practice Thursday

Packers quarterback, tight end back on the field in limited capacity


GREEN BAY – Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and tight end Jimmy Graham will practice in a "limited" capacity on Thursday, according to Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

It will be the first time Rodgers has participated in a Thursday padded practice since injuring his knee during the regular-season opener in Chicago on Sept. 9. Addressing the media Wednesday, Rodgers said he feels good with his movement and channeled his inner-Allen Iverson when asked about the importance of practice.

"Practice? What do you want to talk about? It's practice," Rodgers joked. "I do love to compete. There's no doubt about it. It is difficult and different for me to not be out there. I'm one who always loves being out there because you're not just competing but you're working on things with the guys and working on the game plan especially on days like Wednesday and Thursday. So that's been obviously a struggle for me. But I've been putting a lot of good work in with Nate (Weir) and our training staff. That's how I'm able to play. That's the tradeoff – not being out there for practice but the tradeoff is I can actually get out there and play on Sunday."

Graham (knee) also will be back on the practice field after sitting out of Wednesday's practice. McCarthy said the team is "being smart" with the five-time Pro Bowl tight end, citing "maintenance" for the reason behind holding Graham out Wednesday.

McCarthy "felt good about the work" Bryan Bulaga (back) did Wednesday and he expects the Packers' starting right tackle to again practice Thursday on a limited basis.

At right guard, McCarthy feels comfortable with either Byron Bell or Lucas Patrick if Justin McCray (shoulder) is unable to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Linebacker Nick Perry remains in the concussion protocol.

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