Another Packer Back at Practice After OTA Injury

The Green Bay Packers get a few key players back before they kick off mandatory minicamp.
Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Green Bay Packers are currently in the midst of the final round of voluntary OTAs before the mandatory minicamp starts next week. In Tuesday's practice, Packers fans received excellent news about one of their young stars.

Linebacker Lukas Van Ness, who missed last week of practice because of a broken thumb, is now back on the field with his teammates. The first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Van Ness was seen wearing a protective wrap on his hand.

Packers News: Lukas Van Ness Returns To Practice

The fact that Van Ness only missed such a short amount of time is a great sign. It also looks like he doesn't need to wear a big protective cast which shows how minor the injury was. This way, the former Iowa star can continue to build on-field chemistry with his teammates ahead of the minicamp.

The Packers bolstered their defensive unit this offseason by drafting linebacker Edgerrin Cooper and safety Javon Bullard in the second round. Both rookies are expected to start for Green Bay. The Packers also made a big splash by signing free-agent safety Xavier McKinney.

Rashan Gary and Preston Smith also returned to practice on Tuesday along with Van Ness. The Packers having their full complement of defenders available and getting reps together will help the team ahead of the season.

Van Ness had a promising rookie season in 2023 when he came into his own in the final few weeks of the season. Despite only playing in 33% of defensive snaps, Van Ness was disruptive, recording four sacks and 10 QB hits.

Under new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley, the 22-year-old defender will try to become a full-time starter as the team transitions to a 4-3 defense, giving Van Ness more opportunities as a pass rusher. Now, he has a chance to make a case for himself for the rest of the summer with his thumb injury seemingly behind him.

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