And your third-string outside linebacker? Aaron Kampman
Hopefully for his sake, he won’t be in that position during Saturday’s Family Night Scrimmage.
With Clay Matthews out after aggravating a hamstring injury, Jeremy Thompson out with a groin injury and rookie Brad Jones still on PUP with a back injury, the Packers were down to only Kampman, Brady Poppinga and undrafted rookie Cyril Obiozor as outside linebackers for Friday’s practice.
“Clay Matthews probably could have went today,” coach Mike McCarthy said when asked about the two players battling to be the starting right outside linebacker but who dropped out of Thursday night’s practice. “We held him just because it was a re-occurring injury. Jeremy Thompson I think will have a good chance of going Saturday night.”
That would be good news for Kampman. The veteran obviously needs the reps as he makes the transition from defensive end, but the coaches have to walk the fine line of keeping his 29-year-old’s legs in shape for the 16-game regular-season grind.
In all, 15 players were out on Friday. Along with the aforementioned linebackers, Nick Barnett (PUP; knee), B.J. Raji (unsigned), Patrick Williams (hamstring), Tory Humphrey (broken forearm), Johnny Jolly (ankle), Trevor Ford (unknown), Brandon Jackson (shoulder), Anthony Smith (groin), Pat Lee (back), Ruvell Martin (groin) and Justin Harrell (rest) were out.
So was cornerback Al Harris, who with receivers coach Jimmy Robinson was at the funeral of former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.
McCarthy said no decision was made on Humphrey, who had surgery on Friday morning. Season-ending injured reserve is a possibility but McCarthy said Humphrey “definitely” could “be back at some point during the season.”
Harrell says he’s ready
Harrell said he’ll be ready to go “full speed” on Saturday. He has been held out of the last two practices, leading some to wonder whether his back has been bothering him.
“It was a long week, bumps and bruises and things like that,” he said. “So, they just felt like they should hold me out of yesterday’s practice and today in the team drills. It’s just all rest and recovery. Just being smart. Training camp’s a long process and an even longer season. You don’t want to do too much, too soon, with all of my history.”
Two more first-round picks signed on Friday, though it probably won’t help the Packers get a deal done with No. 9 overall pick B.J. Raji.
The Chiefs signed No. 3 overall pick Tyson Jackson, a defensive end from LSU, while the Broncos signed No. 12 overall pick Knowshon Moreno, a running back from Georgia. Still, the pivotal rookie remains No. 10 overall pick Michael Crabtree, who could have been the No. 1 overall pick had his foot been healthy before the draft. Crabtree wants top-five money — or at least the $23.5 million guaranteed that Oakland gave to another receiver, No. 7 pick Darrius Heyward-Bey — and Raji’s agents don’t want to strike a deal with the Packers until they see how much Crabtree gets from San Francisco. That could be a while, considering Crabtree is threatening to sit out the season.
“B.J. Raji is a young player that’s involved in a business situation,” McCarthy said. “As far as percentages and how much he’s missed, it’s truly to his benefit to get in camp. But he’s involved in a business situation, that’s really how I view it. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time talking about it. I get the updates every day. I wish he was here. I’m sure he wishes he was here, too.”
— Practice was moved inside to the Don Hutson Center because of rain in the forecast. McCarthy changed the schedule from full pads to shorts and helmets, and because of that, intensity was down considerably.
— The No. 1 kickoff unit consisted of Charlie Peprah, Brandon Chillar, Korey Hall, Spence Havner and Jarrett Bush up front, with Desmond Bishp, Tony Moll, T.J. Lang, Breno Giacomini and John Kuhn behind them.
The kickoff returners were, in order, Will Blackmon, Tramon Williams, Tyrell Sutton and DeShawn Wynn. New special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum is using only one true deep man.
— The Family Night Scrimmage begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. There are tickets remaining, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster until 3:30 p.m. or in person at the Lambeau Field ticket office beginning at 10:30 a.m.
— Nick Collins, Aaron Rouse and Tramon Williams dropped interceptions.
— Williams knocked an Aaron Rodgers pass out of James Jones’ hands in the end zone but Jones made a juggling catch for the touchdown.
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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 and Facebook under Bill Huber.