Packers' Finley limited in practice; Bulaga looks good in return

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and right tackle Bryan Bulaga returned to participate in a limited portion of practice Thursday, a good sign for a team looking to get healthy for a second Super Bowl run.

 

Veteran left tackle Chad Clifton also practiced for a second consecutive day and is on track to play in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions, which was a goal of coach Mike McCarthy. Clifton, 35, hasn't played since suffering a hamstring injury Oct. 9.

Bulaga (knee) returned to participate in individual drills but "looked good," according to McCarthy. Bulaga will be evaluated Friday after meeting with the team doctors.

If Clifton and Bulaga return, it would put the Packers' starting tackles on the field together for the first time since Week 5.

"It's always good to have players that you believe are your starters when you started the season," McCarthy said. "But I don't think our situation is different than most teams in the league. It's important to get these guys healthy."

The Packers must see if Clifton can regain his form after such a long layoff. McCarthy refused to divulge how many snaps he wants Clifton to play, and the lineman said he hasn't been told.

"I just want to come out and play to the best of my ability -- go out there and help the team," Clifton said. "I feel pretty good out there as far as the rust level. I feel like my pass sets are pretty good. Maybe the first couple days last week I might have been a little rusty but it's coming around."

Finley returned after sitting out Wednesday's practice with a sore left knee, an issue he didn't believe would keep him out against the Lions.

McCarthy, who didn't find out about Finley's knee issue until just before Wednesday's session, said he met with the tight end and the team's medical staff to get on the same page. McCarthy expects Finley to be limited in practice again Friday.

Defensive end Ryan Pickett (concussion) was limited for a second consecutive day, and wide receiver Randall Cobb (groin) and running back James Starks (knee) didn't practice.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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