Standout inside linebacker Desmond Bishop, the Green Bay Packers’ leading tackler last season, was one of seven players who failed his physical and was rendered a bystander for the start of training camp on Thursday morning.
Bishop aggravated a calf while training at home. The cause for concern is it’s a reoccurring injury. Bishop, who finished second with five sacks among his 142 tackles, missed time three full games after injuring the calf during the first quarter of the Nov. 24 game at Detroit.
Also out were fullback John Kuhn (knee), outside linebacker Frank Zombo (hamstring), defensive lineman Johnny Jones (knee), guard Jaymes Brooks (hamstring), tackle Derek Sherrod (leg) and tight end Andrew Quarless (knee) were the other players held out of practice. All seven are on the active physically unable to perform list and will not be allowed to practice until they pass their physicals.
Without Bishop, D.J. Smith joined A.J. Hawk as the starting inside linebackers, with Smith recording an interception. Jamari Lattimore and Robert Francois formed the No. 2 tandem. Without Zombo, Brad Jones – who was moved from outside to inside linebacker during the offseason practices – was back on the outside.
The week ahead
-- A full house was at Ray Nitschke Field for the first practice. There will be practices at 8:15 a.m. Friday and Saturday, a day off Sunday, and 8:15 a.m. sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
-- As expected, Charles Woodson joined Morgan Burnett at safety when the Packers were in their base defense. When they went to nickel, Woodson took over his usual spot as slot cornerback and M.D. Jennings paired with Burnett. While at cornerback, Woodson had an interception off of a deflection. We’ll have more on Woodson and where the Packers stand at safety without Charlie Peprah later today.
-- Speaking of safeties, Anthony Levine made a nice breakup of a deep pass up the right sideline to Jordy Nelson. The ball ricocheted off Levine and hit Nelson in the hand, resulting in a dislocated finger. A trainer popped it back into place and Nelson didn’t miss a beat.
-- Mason Crosby went 4-for-4 on field goals, hitting from 38 and 47 yards with Tim Masthay holding and twice from 44 with Randall Cobb holding. On a warmup kick from 38, Crosby drilled the camera tower which is perched high between the uprights.
-- Running back Alex Green, a third-round pick in 2011 who missed half of his rookie season with a torn ACL, and defensive lineman Mike Daniels, a fourth-round pick this year who suffered a torn labrum before Iowa’s bowl game, were practicing with no limitations. Both were held out of the offseason practices.
We will have much more after today’s locker room session.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.