Packers designate OLB Whitney Mercilus for return from IR

By Zach Kruse

The already productive pass-rush of the Green Bay Packers might be adding one more to the bunch for the playoff run.

One day after All-Pro Za’Darius Smith returned to practice, veteran edge rusher Whitney Mercilus was back on the practice field and designated for return from injured reserve.

The Packers acquired Mercilus on Oct. 21 after he was released by the Houston Texans.

Over four games with the Packers, Mercilus delivered 10 pressures, one sack and four stops. He injured his biceps while attempting to sack Russell Wilson in Week 10 and was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 16.

Practicing on Thursday opens his 21-day window to return to the active roster. While being back on the practice field doesn’t guarantee he’ll be back in time to play, the door is now open for his return at some point in the postseason.

If he can return, the Packers could have Mercilus, Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary as a quartet of edge rushers for the playoffs.

Mercilus, a 10-year veteran, has 58 career sacks in 138 career games. He had three sacks in six games with the Texans before joining the Packers this season.

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