Derek Sherrod is back. It’s been a long long time since the Packers have seen their 2011 first-round pick this healthy. In pads.

The initial reports are positive.

“I’m just happy he has his helmet on out there playing football” offensive line coach James Campen said. “And I thought he did well today his first day back in pads. It’s been 20 some months. ...I’m very happy for him and for us. That’s a big athletic man that was drafted here for a reason.”

Sherrod did return briefly last season for two weeks but had a noticeable limp. This was the first time since breaking his leg in December 2011 Sherrod has truly been able to block and bend and practice the way he'd like.

“Big difference big difference" Campen said. "It’s not even close.”

Sherrod can practice for three weeks without counting against Green Bay's 53-man roster. Then the Packers will need to make a decision. They'll be monitoring him closely.

Campen said he's going "to get (Sherrod) as quickly up to speed as I possibly can." Green Bay is treating this as a "day-by-day thing" tracking Sherrod's reps with care.

“I think he just has to get back into a rhythm" Campen said. "Certainly with that amount of time off you get in there and you get banged around. Giving shots taking a few. We all played football. I’m sure his head will be sore and he’ll have that red ring going around his head. Jam your fingers a little bit and go to work."