Aaron Rodgers was held out of Tuesday’s practice with a head cold, meaning the reins of the Green Bay Packers’ offense were turned over to Graham Harrell, Vince Young and B.J. Coleman.
The results were mixed, to be sure.
“There were some rough plays there, but that’s why we watch the tape,” coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. “We’ll watch the tape together here at 3 o’clock, so I’m curious to watch it.”
Harrell took most of the reps with the No. 1 offense, though Young was mixed into the action. During a no-huddle period to end practice, Harrell overthrew Jarrett Boykin, who had gotten behind Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde, and overthrew Tyrone Walker, who also had gotten behind Hyde. However, he converted a fourth-and-1 to Boykin and a third-and-6 to Boykin to keep the drive alive.
Coleman, whose miserable training camp led to the addition of Young, had one of his better practices and appears to be on the upswing. At one point, Coleman hung in there when blitzed and lobbed a perfect pass to Myles White for a long completion over Burnett. During a red zone drill, he threaded a touchdown pass to D.J. Williams over Clay Matthews, and he also hit Ryan Taylor for a score.
Young was up and down. He should have been picked off by Hyde on one play, but used his mobility to throw a touchdown to Taylor.
“I’m getting there, one day at a time still,” Young said. “I know it’s a lot with this offense. I’m trying to get old habits out of my head with the progressions that I need for this offense as well as with your feet and getting the ball out quicker and things like that.”
With time running out in training camp and tough decisions looming at quarterback, was there a benefit for Rodgers to be sidelined for a day?
“As you watch us practice throughout training camp, you’d agree based on the number of reps the layout is more suitable to three quarterbacks,” McCarthy said. “We’re not on the field for three hours, and there’s only so many days and so many team reps. Definitely we’ve talked about that here before. But I don’t like when No. 12 is not out there on the field, that’s the No. 1 priority.”
New injuries: QB Aaron Rodgers (illness), CB Loyce Means (ankle).
Old injuries: WR Charles Johnson (knee), WR Randall Cobb (biceps), CB James Nixon (knee/ankle), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Tramon Williams (knee), OL J.C. Tretter (ankle), OT Bryan Bulaga (knee), OT Derek Sherrod (leg), TE Matthew Mulligan (elbow), WR Jordy Nelson (knee), DE Jerel Worthy (knee).
Asked if he expects Sherrod to play this season, Thompson said: “Yes, yes we are.”
Back from injuries: None.
— After an unbelievably cool summer, it actually got hot on Tuesday and will be hotter on Wednesday. “Definitely, it was 82 today and you look at your schedule, the only game that I'm concerned about weather-wise is probably Cincinnati,” McCarthy said. “Now, that I've said that, it's probably going to be hot as (heck) against San Francisco and Washington, but you can't really plan for that. But it's good to get in the heat.”
— Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will be a good test for the Packers’ defense, which faces athletic Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III to start the season. “He finished the season great last year,” McCarthy said. “We had a chance to be around him at the Pro Bowl. Had a lot of respect for him as a young man, and even more so as a quarterback. We're just really preparing for him and their offense. It's a great challenge for our defense. Marshawn Lynch is an excellent back, and I think their identity of how they want to play really took off in the second half of the season, and they're doing a great job in preseason so far. So, this will be an excellent challenge for us.”
— Thompson is a proponent of day practices after the team went to a night-heavy schedule for a couple years. “The other day in St. Louis was a really long day. I don’t know if it was for you guys but it was for us and for our team because you just sit around and you sit around. So, I think in some respects it’s good to kind of practice that, but in a perfect world, I’m a get up in the morning, get it done early. I think the team kind of likes that, too, because you don’t sit there and sweat the practice all day long. You get up and you get at it. Sort of like getting up and cutting the grass early in the morning. Get it done and it’s out of the way.”
— For the second consecutive day, Young and rookie center Patrick Lewis botched a snap.
— The last practice of the week will start at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and be in full pads. The Packers host the Seahawks at 7 p.m. Friday in a game televised nationally by ESPN. Practices next week start at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, 11:15 a.m. on Monday and 11 a.m. on Tuesday. And that’ll be it for training camp.
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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.