The Green Bay Packers continued OTAs Wednesday as they prepare for the 2024 NFL season. And while training camp is still more than a month away, the Packers did get some positive injury news on two key players this week.

Packers Positive Injury News, Player Number One: RB Josh Jacobs

Josh Jacobs sat out last week’s OTAs with a hamstring issue. There was concern that the team’s big offensive free agent acquisition would be missing time as he learns the offense.

But on Wednesday, Jacobs was participating at practice and seemed to be on the road to recovery.

“We’re moving him along and he’s progressing. He’s doing a nice job and hopefully next week we’ll get him out there and when we’re going full speed,” head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters at his Wednesday press conference.

LaFleur was looking forward to working with Jacobs and excited about how he can help the offense. “I think he’s a fit in any offense,” he said. “His running style. He runs extremely hard. He’s really tough to take down, he’s got great hands out of the backfield…and he’s great in pass protection, he’s a great teammate and a great leader. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him. I think there’s a lot of great things he brings to our football team.”

The Packers expect Jacobs to be ready for more activity next week and hopefully he’ll be able to go full speed at OTAs at that time.

The Packers will need a strong season for Jacobs if they hope to contend in 2024.

Packers Positive Injury News, Player Number Two: CB Eric Stokes

Injuries limited Eric Stokes to just three games last year and he played defense in only two of them. He also missed the final eight games of the 2022 campaign when he suffered knee and foot injuries.

The Packers are hoping the former first round pick out of Georgia will be able to return to the form he showed in his rookie year when he did a strong job in coverage and played with confidence. During the last two seasons, he struggled on the field even when healthy.

But Stokes has been on the field at OTAs and looking strong according to LaFleur. “I think what this offseason has afforded him was an ability to train. It’s a lot different when you’re coming off an injury and you’re trying to rehab versus when you’re fully healthy and you can train the right way,” LaFleur explained last week. “When you look at him physically, his body looks different. He’s hitting some fast speeds out there at practice. I can tell mentally he feels like he’s in a great place.”

If healthy, Stokes should benefit from being in Jeff Hafley’s new defense which plays more to his strengths including being more physical with receivers off the snap of the ball. Stokes will be battling with Carrington Valentine and several other players to start at cornerback opposite Jaire Alexander.

Seeing him going full speed and playing with more confidence is a positive sign as Stokes attempts to work his way back into the lineup.

Some Bad News

One player who got some bad injury news was edge rusher Lukas Van Ness. The 2023 first-round pick out of Iowa has suffered a broken thumb and did not participate in Wednesday’s practice at OTAs as a result.

“He broke his thumb a little bit,” LaFleur said. “Just the top though.”

The Packers are hoping Van Ness can make a second-year jump after recording four sacks as part of the edge rusher rotation in 2023.

The only other absences at Wednesday’s open practice were Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, and Elgton Jenkins. All three of those players notified the team they would not be at this optional series of OTAs. Van Ness’ absence left the team without three of their top four edge rushers.



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