With less than a week to go until Week 1 of the NFL is in full swing, teams are starting to lock in their blueprints. For the Green Bay Packers, it will mean going to Jacksonville to take on the New Orleans Saints.
A big part of the blueprint they hope to have available is edge rusher Za’Darius Smith.
Smith has been limited and out of training camp as of late while he deals with an injury. On Monday, via Bill Huber of SI.com, Smith was back at practice for the Packers taking part in individual drills.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had said he was “hopeful” that Smith would be at practice this week and that was the case on Monday. While it doesn’t mean the sack-getter will be a go for the game against the Saints, it’s a sign in the right direction for Green Bay.
Overall, LaFleur seemed to indicate on Monday that the Packers are pretty healthy overall heading into Week 1.
“I’d say we’re fairly healthy,” LaFleur said before practice. “For the most part, most of the guys are available. That’s what we wanted to do, is making sure that the guys who needed the work out there in the preseason, they got the work. Some of our veteran guys, we chose not to play them so that they were hopefully 100 percent for Week 1.”
Expectations are sky high this year in Green Bay and having Za’Darius Smith available and active from the get go would be huge for the rest of the defense.