GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur and his counterpart, New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen, agreed to bypass any one-on-one drills in hopes of keeping tempers and testosterone in check for the second and final day of joint practices.
So much for that. On the fourth play of practice on Wednesday, Saints receiver Jarvis Landry went after Packers cornerback Eric Stokes to start a fight. It wasn’t a big brawl, but the Saints sent Landry back to the locker room for the rest of the day.
“We knew it was going to be like that, to where we pretty much dominated yesterday and we knew they’d come out with a little more aggression today,” Stokes said.
“I could tell from the wide receivers, it looked like they came out more aggressive and more dominant but [Landry], it just seemed he came out and he’s looking just to hit. He didn’t care about catching. He didn’t care about nothing. He was just looking to try to hit us. We just had to (react to) that from the start.”
Once Landry left, tempers cooled. The action was intense and physical but there were no major altercations beyond a little pushing and shoving.
“Not surprised at all,” Stokes said. “It’s football. Hey, I’m not fixing to let you continue to try to bully me and all that stuff. Naw. We’ve got on pads for a reason. As long as we’re good in between the whistles, everything will go smooth.”
Between the whistles, it was a big two days for Green Bay’s defense, which had beaten up on Aaron Rodgers and Co. through most of training camp and mostly did the same to the Saints the past two days.
“Our defense,” Stokes said when asked who won, Saints or Packers. “Come on, now. Hey, I’m going to stand on business. I feel like defense, we’ve already got that competitive nature to where we don’t let up anything. We came out yesterday a little slow but picked it up and showed everything. And today we just came out at go. We already knew what was up.”
Player of the Day
Can a player make the roster over the course of six days? Perhaps yes, if you’re outside linebacker Kingsley Enagbare.
The rookie fifth-round pick had fallen to almost the bottom of the depth chart before turning into an unstoppable force. Not that he wasn’t going to make the roster based on draft pedigree and potential, but there’s a difference between being given a roster spot and earning one. Enagbare is earning one.
He had one sack in the preseason game against San Francisco on Friday, perhaps three sacks of Aaron Rodgers during a two-minute drill on Sunday, an impressive showing against the Saints on Tuesday and a downright dominant performance on Wednesday.
Enagbare had sacks to end each of the two-minute drills. Throughout the day, he won with bull rushes and speed. He beat everyone who was in front of him, including first-round pick Trevor Penning.
“I feel I had two pretty solid days,” he said. “Definitely a lot of stuff I can work on, hand placement, stuff like that or being more aggressive on my strike. But, overall, pretty good solid days.”
Play of the Day
Jordan Love took his lumps after throwing three interceptions at the 49ers on Friday. The rookie receivers took their lumps from Aaron Rodgers on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Love and one of those rookies, Samori Toure, came through in the clutch.
In the backups vs. backups two-minute drill, Love stepped up in the pocket and threw a picture-perfect deep ball to Toure. Toure never broke stride, catching the ball and sprinting into the end zone.
“He ran a good route and kind just threw it to the right side of the field on the numbers and let him do the rest right there. He made a good finish,” Love said.
Fairly or not, Toure has always been the afterthought at receiver. That comes with the territory of being the third receiver drafted and a seventh-round pick who spent most of his college career at Montana before transferring to Nebraska for his final season.
“You’re not going to be creating 3, 4 yards of separation every play in the league like you may in college,” Toure said.
But he did on the touchdown.
“I had pretty good separation,” he said. “I just had a post route from the slot and really just run across the field and get open. Jordan Love threw a great ball.”
The touchdown put the Packers behind by one point in the "game." Coach Matt LaFleur went for two. It was a sprint-out to the right, with Love connecting with Toure at the pylon for the score. The degree of difficulty was much higher than on the touchdown. Toure said the defensive back grabbed his hand and tipped the ball, but Toure made the catch.
“Really, the game’s on the line, so you really don’t have a choice. You’ve got to make the play for your team,” he said.
Packers Depth Chart Notes
- In the punt return rotation were receivers Amari Rodgers, Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson.
- With second-string cornerback Rico Gafford out due to injury, Kiondre Thomas (No. 43 in the photo) was elevated into the second unit.
- The No. 2 outside linebackers were Jonathan Garvin and Kobe Jones, who initially won his spot on the 90-man roster as a tryout player at rookie camp. Later, it was Garvin and rookie Kingsley Enagbare.
Transactions: Packers Claim Travis Fulgham, Release Malik Taylor
The Packers claimed receiver Travis Fulgham off waivers, a source said in confirming an ESPN report, and made official the signing of safety De’Vante Cross, as reported first by Packer Central. Those additions and the release of receiver Malik Taylor kept the team at the 85-man limit. They’ll have to trim the roster to 80 on Tuesday.
Packers Wednesday Injury Report
The Packers signed De’Vante Cross because four safeties, including starter Darnell Savage, are sidelined by injuries.
The injury to rookie receiver Danny Davis (pictured) might have spurred the decision to add Fulgham. For the game on Friday night, veterans Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins probably will not play, and rookie Christian Watson has not been fully cleared for 11-on-11 action.
Returned to practice: OLB Rashan Gary (undisclosed).
New injuries: WR Danny Davis (ankle), CB Rico Gafford (ankle).
Old injuries: S Dallin Leavitt (shoulder), S Tariq Carpenter (knee), S Darnell Savage (hamstring), S Innis Gaines (hamstring), DT Akial Byers (ankle).
Physically unable to perform list: K Mason Crosby (knee), RB Kylin Hill (knee), LT David Bakhtiari (knee).
Training Camp Schedule
Training camp is officially closed, with the joint practices being the final two open to fans this summer. The team will have an off-day Thursday before they host the Saints in the teams’ second preseason game on Friday. Here’s how to watch.
The sequence: 1:08 on the clock, two timeouts and starting at the 25.
- With New Orleans’ No. 1 offense facing Green Bay’s No. 1 defense, the Saints drove into Packers territory but Tipa Galeai and Jarran Reed were in the backfield for one “sack” and Kingsley Enagbare struck again by beating first-round pick Trevor Penning for another “sack” on fourth-and-21.
- When it was backups vs. backups, Ian Book led the Saints across midfield, the big play an 18-yard completion to tight end Lucas Krull on third-and-14 in which safety Micah Abernathy lit up Krull for the biggest hit of the two days. The defense stiffened, though. With 7 seconds to go, who else but Enagbare clinched the “win” with another “sack.” Rashan Gary rushed onto the field to celebrate with the rookie.
- Green Bay’s No. 1 offense wasted no time moving into scoring position, with two receptions by Romeo Doubs sandwiching a checkdown to AJ Dillon to push the ball past midfield. Then came the big strike, with Aaron Rodgers stepping up and drilling Sammy Watkins over the middle for 25.
But the drive stalled. Rodgers was almost picked off on third down and he was “sacked” before a checkdown to Aaron Jones picked up the first down. It didn’t appear Rodgers was happy about the call. Afterward, he visited the Saints sideline and exchanged hugs with several players, including linebacker Demario Davis.
- Green Bay’s No. 2 offense “won” the “game” on Jordan Love’s aforementioned passes to Samori Toure. Love’s 20-yard completion to Amari Rodgers, who made a nice adjustment on a ball that appeared to be slightly behind him, got things rolling.
Training Camp Highlights
Note: With action going on both ends of the field, the focus for today’s highlights was the defense.
- The defense picked up where it left off on Tuesday. Whether it was starters or backups, the pass rush was relentless. During the first periods, outside linebackers Tipa Galeai and Preston Smith and inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell had “sacks.” On another play, outside linebacker Kobe Jones overpowered tight end Lucas Krull and pushed him forcefully into the lap of quarterback Ian Book.
- During the first two plays of a red-zone period, Smith and Kenny Clark had sacks. Moments later, linebacker Krys Barnes and cornerback Kiondre Thomas had breakups. The period ended with a sack by red-hot rookie outside linebacker Kingsley Enagbare.
- The defense, however, was gashed too often by Mark Ingram and the Saints’ running backs. There also were coverage breakdowns against the tight ends. In red zone, tight ends Juwan Johnson, Adam Trautman and Krull had touchdowns.
- After a big run by Ingram, outside linebacker Rashan Gary leveled Johnson and drilled running back Alvin Kamara.
- Cornerback Rasul Douglas was sensational on Tuesday but was beaten deep by Chris Olave for a gain of about 30 yards on fourth-and-1. That set up a touchdown. Otherwise, he had a dominant two days.
- Thomas, elevated into the second unit with Rico Gafford sidelined by ankle injury, was torched by 5-foot-6 receiver Deonte Harty but Book threw the ball too far.
- During the starters vs. starters two-minute drill, Aaron Rodgers connected with receiver Doubs on a receiver screen. Tight end Josiah Deguara had the key block for a gain of 11. Deguara also had an explosive play as a receiver.
- During red zone, the Green Bay offense scored five touchdowns - two passes by Aaron Rodgers and three passes by Jordan Love. Juwann Winfree, who quietly keeps making plays, had one from each quarterback.