Friday Night (High)lights

Rodgers (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)

On the eve of Saturday's Family Night Scrimmage, the Packers turned in a crisp practice under the lights.

The Green Bay Packers head into Saturday's Family Night Scrimmage after one of their best practices of training camp.

Working under the lights in front of an overflow crowd at Ray Nitschke Field on Friday night, the team engaged in a full-throttle practice highlighted by several live periods.

"Thought it was a good practice," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I thought the energy was where it needs to be. That was our seventh install of eight. I like where we are schematically. I'm sure the mental errors will come out when we evaluate the film but I thought the offense had three or four segments where they looked like they were supposed to. I think the defense, particularly on the back end, and the overall coverage of our defense — the coverage was tighter, competing for balls. That's just something as you go through training camp, you can see your team coming in sync. I think we definitely took a step towards that."

In a two-minute drill to end the night, Aaron Rodgers and the offense were super-sharp. Starting at the 35-yard line with 56 seconds, one timeout and needing a touchdown, Rodgers hit Jeremy Ross for back-to-back gains of 15 yards and James Jones deep down the sideline for 25. On first down from the 15, Rodgers fired a bullet to Jermichael Finley, who made the grab over safety Jerron McMillian and emphatically spiked the ball after the touchdown.

Defensively, the highlight play was made by Johnny Jolly. Largely silent during camp while coming off a three-year layoff, Jolly sliced into the backfield and stripped the ball from Alex Green.

"Good play for the defense, bad play for the offense," McCarthy said. "I thought it was a good play by Johnny. It's unacceptable by Alex. That's part of training against one another, so that's that."

Injury updates

New injuries: S David Fulton (foot), LB Jamari Lattimore (illness), LB Brad Jones (finger), TE Andrew Quarless (quad), WR Jordy Nelson (knee).

McCarthy said Nelson "banged" his knee a couple days ago and is being evaluated. Quarless will be out for a couple of days. Jones dropped out with an injured finger and was being examined. Lattimore, who is Jones' backup, is battling a gastrointestinal disorder. He missed the first two days of camp with it and had participated the last four days. With Jones and Lattimore out, Terrell Manning was the dime linebacker in an end-of-practice two-minute drill.

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), LB Dezman Moses (toe), OL J.C. Tretter (broken ankle), OT Derek Sherrod (leg), DE Mike Neal (abdominal), DE Jerel Worthy (ACL).

Returning from injuries: OLB Nate Palmer (shoulder).

Extra points

— Festivities for Saturday's Family Night Scrimmage begin at 5:30 p.m., with on-field activities starting at 6:30 p.m. There is no practice on Sunday and the public is not allowed to attend Monday's practice. Practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are open to the public and start at 8:20 a.m.

— There will be live tackling at Saturday's scrimmage.

Marshall Newhouse, who has been the No. 1 right tackle since being moved there during the offseason, took about 10 snaps at his old spot, left tackle, with the No. 2 offense. "It's important to make sure we're rotating with as many different guys as possible and that's not different for Marshall," McCarthy said.

Randall Cobb took the first rep on punt returns, followed by Ross, Omarius Hines, Myles White, Tyrone Walker and Johnathan Franklin. One punt hit Walker in the helmet.

Angelo Pease fumbled during an inside-run period, with Jordan Miller knocking the ball loose. It was a bad moment for Pease, who had been the best back moments earlier during a blitz drill against the linebackers.


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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