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With 35 Players Absent, Jones Provides ‘Example’ by Attending OTAs

With just about every other starter absent, Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones was on the field for the eighth of nine voluntary OTAs on Tuesday.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Davante Adams wasn’t at practice on Tuesday, Neither was Jaire Alexander. Or Jace Sternberger, for that matter. And it was hardly worth the 94 characters needed to mention Aaron Rodgers wasn’t there, either.

But star running back Aaron Jones was at Day 2 of the Green Bay Packers’ third and final week of voluntary organized team activities. He wasn’t just present but active, taking his full complement of reps in individual drills and the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods.

“He doesn’t have to be here. He was here from Day 1, being that example, being that guy everybody was looking at,” rookie receiver Amari Rodgers said after practice. “Once he catches the ball, once he gets the ball, he’s finishing almost through the end zone. He’s just being that example the whole minicamp, that person that you look at it, like ‘OK, that’s the way I need to practice.’ So, he’s definitely been that guy that I’ve been looking at, trying to learn from as far as how to practice, how to push through when you’re maybe tired and stuff like that. Having a guy like that on your team is always great.”

Of the 90-man roster, 35 players weren’t present. Of the team’s presumptive starters, only Jones and linebackers Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin were on the field. Newly signed veteran De’Vondre Campbell, who will compete with Barnes and Martin for a starting job, practiced, as well.

The high numbers were not unexpected, with coach Matt LaFleur essentially giving his veteran players a free pass so long as they took part in the virtual sessions.

“The bottom line is everybody has to be a pro and they have to go attack it wherever they are and put their best foot forward so we can hit the ground running come July 27,” he said last week.

Nonetheless, the absences made for some odd situations, like defensive coordinator Joe Barry lining up as a slot cornerback for one snap. At tight end, with Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis and Sternberger not at practice, Dominique Dafney sidelined with a wrap on his right knee and Josiah Deguara rehabbing from his torn ACL, Bronson Kaufusi was the last man standing. In two-tight-end sets, an assistant coach jumped into the action.

Only five of the 11 receivers were available. One of them was Equanimeous St. Brown, who skipped the first two weeks of OTAs.

After an off-day on Wednesday, OTAs will wrap up on Thursday. Training camp is scheduled to begin on July 27.

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Who Wasn’t at Practice on Offense?

QB: Aaron Rodgers

RB: AJ Dillon, Dexter Williams

WR: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Devin Funchess, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Malik Taylor

OL: LT David Bakhtiari, LG Elgton Jenkins, RG Lucas Patrick, RT Billy Turner, OT Yosh Nijman

TE: Robert Tonyan, Jace Sternberger, Marcedes Lewis

Who Wasn’t at Practice on Defense?

DL: Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster

OLB: Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Randy Ramsey, Jonathan Garvin

ILB: Oren Burks

CB: Kevin King, Jaire Alexander, Chandon Sullivan

S: Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Will Redmond

Who Wasn’t at Practice on Special Teams?

K Mason Crosby, P JK Scott, LS Hunter Bradley