Despite the team’s best efforts, the tolls of training camp are being felt by the Green Bay Packers.
Fourteen players were held out of Wednesday’s practice, and the pain is being felt at receiver, cornerback and outside linebacker.
“It’s training camp. This is training camp football. This is normal,” coach Mike McCarthy said.
The nagging aches and pains and strains of training camp aren’t limited to Green Bay, of course. One theory is that the year-round approach being taken by teams and players is doing more harm than good.
“We definitely have upgraded our research and our analysis to everything, and our strength and conditioning program is included in that,” McCarthy said. “As far as the training once they leave here, that’s a little bit of the unknown. There’s communication that goes on between our staff and players. To comment on a general sense, I have no idea what goes on around the league. For the most part, when our players leave here, I feel like where we have a very good gauge on where they are with their training. We have more players stay here through the summer during the four-week break than we’ve ever had, and that’s something we’d like to continue to build on. I don’t see overtraining in our building as an issue.”
The one upside is the injuries are creating opportunities. At cornerback, for instance, Micah Hyde and Loyce Means are taking advantage of the extra reps with Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward injured. Andy Mulumba continues to impress at outside linebacker. It’s even true at receiver, though the down side is the opportunities are coming because of injuries to rookies Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey and Sederrik Cunningham.
“I’d like to see what they can add but you’ve got to love what those guys are doing,” McCarthy said. “The amount of offense that’s been thrown at them, our mental errors are way down. They’re making big plays, they’re doing the little things right. (Omarius) Hines comes right in and steps in and you would have thought he’s been here. He definitely looks like he belongs. I really like how our young guys are pushing Jeremy Ross (and Jarrett) Boykin. It’ll be fun to see the way it sorts out.”
New injuries: S David Fulton (knee), OLB Nate Palmer (shoulder), LB Dezman Moses (toe), Johnny Jolly (knee).
Jolly appeared to get hurt during an inside-running drill. He did not participate in the daily one-on-one pass-rushing drill later.
Old injuries: WR Sederrik Cunningham (disclocated wrist), WR Kevin Dorsey (hamstring), WR Charles Johnson (knee), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Tramon Williams (knee); OL J.C. Tretter (broken ankle), OT Derek Sherrod (leg), DE Mike Neal (abdominal), DE Jerel Worthy (ACL).
Returning from injuries: CB James Nixon (knee), OT Kevin Hughes (head).
Nixon, who’s in the mix at cornerback and returner, returned but clearly was not 100 percent and took limited reps.
-- B.J. Coleman had another bad day, with interceptions to Morgan Burnett and A.J. Hawk.
-- First-round pick Datone Jones and fourth-round pick David Bakhtiari continue to lead a strong class of rookies. “I think he’s off to an excellent start, as far as the reps with the way we’ve utilized him,” McCarthy said of Bakhtiari. “I think he’s someone who is worthy of more reps and furthering the competition along the offensive line.”
-- Marshall Newhouse got the bulk of the work at right tackle with the No. 1 offense, but it was Don Barclay working with the starters during the practice-ending no-huddle drill. Also in no huddle, rookie Eddie Lacy and fullback John Kuhn formed the starting backfield.
-- Kickers Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio haven’t kicked field goals since the first day of camp. Their competition is scheduled to continue on Thursday.
-- Sticking with special teams, Jeremy Ross and Johnathan Franklin muffed punts and Hines misjudged another. Franklin also mishandled a kickoff. Randall Cobb would be returning kicks if the first game of the season were tomorrow.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.