Sherrod progressing slower than expected

GREEN BAY, Wis. — It’s been 49 weeks since Packers offensive tackle Derek Sherrod broke his right leg last season in Kansas City. But, after a lack of substantial positive progress recently, the 2011 first-round pick is likely just five days away from being placed on injured reserve.

By Wednesday, coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson will have used up the team’s three-week window in which Sherrod is allowed to practice. Sherrod had been on the Physically Unable to Perform list all season, but by midseason, players have to either be activated to the roster or sent to injured reserve.

Despite practicing in pads the past two weeks, it appears Sherrod won’t be medically cleared to play this season.

“There were just points where we figured that some things were expected, and they just weren’t happening,”Sherrod said Friday of a couple setbacks he’s had. “So it was just taking a little bit more time than was expected.”

With starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga’s season being ended last week due to a hip injury, the Packers have been desperately trying to get Sherrod ready in case the offensive line suffers any further injuries.

“I don’t want to give up on Derek,”McCarthy said Nov. 16. “We’re taking baby steps. Just watching him a couple weeks ago and watching him go through the individual (drills), I think he’s made some strides. He has that last hurdle he has to get over. This is the kind of drill work that he needs, to be in pads and go through the individual stuff. That’s really the only opportunity that he’ll really have to really cross that threshold.

“We’ll see what happens.”

McCarthy and Thompson could decide to activate Sherrod next week, even if he’s not ready to play, with the hope that the 23-year-old begins to show progress late in the season. But doing so would require the Packers to release a healthy player from their current active roster, a move that seems unlikely.

“I’m just keeping my head up,”Sherrod said. “There’s nothing to be disappointed about. Obviously, I want to play. Whenever that it is, it is.”

Sherrod thinks the team’s decision on him “could go either way”but would not answer specifically when directly asked whether he believes he’s healthy enough to play.

“It’s a little tough to say because a leg break is one of those things where it could go on perfectly or you just need a little extra time,”Sherrod said. “It’s just one of those things.”

Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.