GREEN BAY - As the Packers tight ends room finally nears health, there’s still question as to who will back up Jermichael Finley in Mike McCarthy’s tight end-friendly offense. Both Andrew Quarless and Ryan Taylor practiced Monday as the former returned from a quad injury and the latter from a knee problem.
“Felt great, felt great man,” said Quarless.
The tight ends group is not totally healthy. Matthew Mulligan is sidelined with an elbow injury sustained Saturday night against the Rams.
Quarless, who hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2011, is eager to get back. He spent time at Monday’s practice working with tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot off to the side, catching passes and working on blocking.
“I've just been working so hard, warming it back up, ready to get it rolling,” said Quarless.
With Quarless and Taylor sidelined recently, other reserve tight ends have stepped up. Third-year pro D.J. Williams has continued to be a frequent target in the passing game, and Brandon Bostick caught all three passes thrown his way against the Rams.
“I always look at it that I have to make an impression every time I'm here,” said Bostick. “Every chance I go in, I have to show coaches what I can do. This next game, starters are going to play a lot, when I get my chance, I've just got to show up.”
With Mulligan likely only out a short time, though McCarthy says he’ll be challenged to play Friday against the Seahawks, reps are getting increasingly hard to come by for tight ends.
"If it's less reps, make sure when you're in there, you make plays when it comes your way,” said rookie tight end Jake Stoneburner. “You can't really complain about what's going on. We've got a deep room, I feel like every one of those guys out there can play."
As for Quarless, he’s hopefully to play Friday against Seattle, but knows nothing, including a roster spot, is certain.
“It's my fourth year, but it's a great room [of tight ends], great talents, nothing's guaranteed,” said Quarless. “Since day one in camp, I kind of felt that way to get that job.”
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