Packers’ Whitney Mercilus designated to return off IR

Green Bay Packers defensive end Whitney Mercilus participated in practice on Thursday after being designated to return off injured reserve.

Mercilus’ return is considered surprising given that he was thought to have sustained a season-ending tear of his left biceps in Green Bay’s 17-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 14. He was placed on injured reserve two days later.

Mercilus, 31, recorded 12 tackles and 3.0 sacks in six games (two starts) this season with Houston before being released by the Texans in October. He had five tackles and one sack in four games with the Packers.

Mercilus has 362 tackles and 58 sacks in 138 career games (102 starts) since being selected by the Texans with the 26th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.