Quarless returns to Packers; Montgomery on injured reserve

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Packers' inconsistent offense is getting a veteran piece back on the field.

Tight end Andrew Quarless has returned after being activated Monday from the injured reserve-designated to return list, with rookie receiver Ty Montgomery going on season-ending injured reserve to make room on the roster.

Quarless sustained a knee injury in the Week 3 victory over Kansas City and missed 11 games.

"Veteran player, has played a lot of football for us," coach Mike McCarthy. "He's obviously been working hard going through this."

The Packers could use any help to bolster offense following a choppy 30-20 win over Oakland on Sunday.

Green Bay (10-4) clinched a playoff berth, but faces two challenging games to end the regular season, at Arizona (12-2) on Sunday and at home against Minnesota (9-5) on Jan. 3.

The offense managed only 293 yards against the Raiders and converted 4 of 13 on third down. Green Bay scored just once in five red-zone possessions.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 204 yards with a 68.8 passer rating and a running game that piled up 230 rushing yards vs. Dallas mustered 103 against Oakland.

After the game, McCarthy said he wasn't interested in "style points" and was "tired of talking about the negativities" surrounding his team.

His offense will be put to the test by an Arizona defense tied for sixth in points allowed.

"It's about winning in December," McCarthy said. "There's a reason why these kind of games usually show up on your schedule this time of year. But this is about the playoffs. We're in the playoffs now. Everybody understands what we need to do to, first, win the division, and then hopefully get the highest seed."

Quarless will be part of the final push. He caught two passes for 14 yards in limited action after catching a combined 61 passes for 635 yards and five touchdowns during the previous two seasons.

Quarless said last week that he had been taking more reps in practice to get him ready for his return.

Richard Rodgers, the starting tight end, ranks second on the team with 50 receptions and seven touchdowns. Justin Perillo has added 11 receptions while Kennard Backman, a sixth-round rookie, has played sparingly.

Quarless, who has started 26 games since entering the league in 2010, should be able to use that experience to his advantage.

"The more time you have under your belt doing this," tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot said last week, "then mentally it becomes more engrained in what you're doing. ... It's going to be a matter of him getting his body to the point of doing it the way he expects to do it."

Montgomery sustained a high-ankle sprain during a win in Week 6 against San Diego. He was close to returning on two occasions but aggravated the injury at practice. He'll wind up missing the final 10 games of what had been a promising rookie season.

Montgomery was one of the stars of training camp and impressed quickly this season with 15 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game, a 31.1-yard average on kickoff returns and three carries for 14 yards out of the backfield. An offense that has struggled to make big plays has missed his versatility and run-after-catch ability.

NOTES: C Corey Linsley was active after missing last week's game with an injured ankle, but J.C. Tretter got the start. McCarthy, however, wouldn't say a lineup change had been made. "J.C.'s played good football for us, and Corey, just in the long-term interest, I thought it was the best for our offense." . CB Sam Shields remains in the concussion protocol. . The Packers got a head start on their prep for Sunday's game so they could take all of Christmas off Friday.


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