GREEN BAY – Having played with a broken shoulder blade in a preseason game – and graded out with a perfect score from his position coach – Frank Zombo has always considered himself a tough guy. And having never had a hamstring injury before, he always wondered whether some guys who were listed with the injury might be choosing not to play through it.
Then Zombo suffered a hamstring injury of his own – and the worst kind, where the strain is at the top of the muscle, near his buttocks – and now you’ll never hear him doubt the severity of such an injury again.
“(With) a hamstring pull, I wasn’t been able to full sprint for some time,” said Zombo, who suffered the injury doing a drill a week before organized team activity practices kicked off and has not practiced at all since, landing on the physically unable to perform list to start the season. “It kind of shows the severity of it. A broken bone or a sprained ankle is almost better. Hamstrings are nothing to mess with. You see a lot of guys with hamstrings that are out for awhile. Now, I understand why.
“They say low ones aren’t as bad, they say mid ones aren’t as bad, but you get one up high, up near your glute, your butt, near your hip bone, that’s pretty tough.”
After Sunday’s game at Houston, the three-week window will open for the Packers’ three PUP players – Zombo, tight end Andrew Quarless and backup left tackle Derek Sherrod – to begin practicing. Whenever the Packers activate one of them, another three-week window will open, and the team will be able to watch the player practice for three weeks before having to decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster, put him on season-ending injured reserve or cut him.
On Thursday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Zombo “is getting close,” Quarless “seems to be pretty close” and Sherrod is “probably a little further away.”
“Obviously it’s extremely frustrating. The injuries keep piling up on me,” Zombo said. “When I do play, I do well, but these injuries are keeping me from that. Hopefully these next couple weeks, I can give it a go and see what happens with it.”
Quarless, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee on Dec. 4, said he’s made a lot of progress in the past six weeks, including when he took some time to rest the knee about two weeks ago when swelling set in due to over-training.
“It’s still not set that I’m going to practice next week but that’s where we’re at,” Quarless said. “I feel good. I definitely feel good. I do everything inside (the Don Hutson Center during practice): Route running, blocking, everything. It feels good. I’m cutting on it and everything.”
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