Vince Biegel's long wait to join an NFL roster could soon be over.
The Packers rookie practiced Thursday for just the fourth time as a professional. Biegel had foot surgery in May and had to miss the first six weeks of the season after being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He's now eligible to be activated to the Packers' active roster at any point within the next week.
"For me, what I've been marking on my calendar is just getting better every single day," the Wisconsin Rapids native and former Badger said following Thursday's practice. "These last three or four practices I've felt like I've already started to improve.
"Obviously a long way to go in terms of just getting to my full potential but I'm excited about the future here," he added.
With the release of Ricky-Jean Francois on Wednesday, the Packers have an open roster spot - but it's not a guarantee Biegel will be the one to fill it.
With no in-game NFL reps under his belt, it may take a while for the rookie to make a true impact on the field. He also missed time during his senior season at Wisconsin because of a similar foot injury.
"You guys are looking forward to seeing what he can do but obviously us as well," veteran pass rusher Clay Matthews, who plays the same position as Biegel, said Thursday. "He's a kid who's hungry to come in here and prove himself and hopefully show something too... So hopefully that's the case starting Monday."
"There's good tackles in this league," Biegel said. "You're talking about the best of the best here. At the end of the day the fundamentals and the technique say the same. It's all about honing in sharpening your techniques and going out there and having fun on Sundays."
Reserve tackle Jason Spriggs returned to practice Thursday after spending the last six weeks on injured reserve. Spriggs could also take the open roster spot if the Packers choose to activate him this week.