The last four games have shown just how much the Packers have missed having a tight end that can get open down the middle of the field. Soon enough Green Bay will have a tight end just like that returning to the lineup in Andrew Quarless, his return just won’t be coming against Chicago Thursday night.
Quarless, who was put on IR-designated to return earlier in the season due a hip injury, is now eligible to practice with the team. However, he has yet to take the practice field this week in preparation for the Chicago game.
Quarless isn’t a superstar by any stretch of the imagination. But he is a solid pass catcher and probably the best blocking tight end on the roster. He eclipsed 300 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons catching 29 passes in 2013 and 32 in 2014.
Since he has been injured, Richard Rodgers has taken the majority of the snaps at tight end and the results have been underwhelming to say the least. Rodgers simply doesn’t have the speed or the athleticism of Quarless and it limits his ability to challenge defenses up the seam.
Quarless is also a much better run blocker than Rodgers, who played out wide often and even was a receiver during his time at the University of California.
It will be interesting to see when Quarless returns to the practice field, but with another game slated for next Thursday at Detroit followed by a 10-day break before a home game against Dallas, it would seem that the Dec. 13 date at Lambeau versus the Cowboys would be the ideal return date.