GREEN BAY, Wis. – For the first time at training camp, the Green Bay Packers put on shoulder pads and did some banging.
The first truly competitive period of the summer was a one-on-one pass-rushing drill. The defense was ready. After five practices of having to let the offense do whatever it wanted, Preston Smith pushed back Elgton Jenkins on the first rep, Kenny Clark notched two wins against rookie center Josh Myers, Rashan Gary overpowered right tackle Billy Turner for a pair of impressive wins and Dean Lowry split a pair against right guard Lucas Patrick.
The drill ended in scary fashion, though. Inside linebacker Kamal Martin, who blitzed frequently as a rookie, lined up as an outside linebacker against rookie offensive tackle Coy Cronk. After his first step, Martin hopped into the air, then crashed to the turf. Trainers rushed to his aid and the drill ended. Fortunately, Martin returned to action later in practice. According to a source, he was due for more testing on Tuesday afternoon.
For the second consecutive day, the offense got a 2-minute drill. Starting at its 25 with 1:08 remaining and needing a touchdown, the Aaron Rodgers-led offensive was dealt a blow when Davante Adams dropped a deep pass up the left sideline.
Rodgers moved the chains with a fourth-and-10 completion to Juwann Winfree that picked up 25 yards to the defense’s 38. However, with only 8 seconds remaining, the extra plays needed to get into scoring position burned off a lot of time. The final play, with six defenders guarding the goal line, was a short pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling that was stopped by linebacker Jonathan Garvin.
Jordan Love’s drive with the No. 2 offense went nowhere, with rookie defensive tackle T.J. Slaton, of all people, intercepting the ball.
“He had a great day,” fellow defensive lineman Dean Lowry said of Slaton. “Even in the defensive meeting, he was dunking in flipflops in our team meeting room. He brought it into practice. He’s had some good days. He’s someone who definitely passes the eye test and moves very well. It was fun to see him make a big play today.”
Play of the Day
At Carolina Panthers training camp, receiver Keith Kirkwood went up to reel in a pass from Sam Darnold but safety J.T. Ibe delivered a blow to the head. Kirkwood was carted off the field and taken away by ambulance. Not long thereafter, Ibe was released.
Contrast that to Packers training camp. On third-and-3, Rodgers threw a bit too high to Adams. Adams elevated but couldn’t quite corral the pass. Safety Adrian Amos could have taken out Adams or made a play on the ball that also could have put Adams in a tough spot. Instead, at the last second, Amos changed direction and the ball fell incomplete.
Packers Injury Report
New Injuries: ILB Kamal Martin suffered an injured left leg but returned.
Old Injuries: OLB Randy Ramsey (ankle).
“That was not a good injury,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “It’s a shame because he’s done so much in terms of bringing that special teams value, but also he’s reliable when we’ve been putting him in there on defense. He brings so much needed depth to that position. Other guys are going to have to pick up the slack. That’s just the way the National Football League works unfortunately. I feel bad for him. Hopefully, we’ll get him back at some point.”
Returned to Practice: None.
Packers Creep Out of Cellar of Hall of Famer’s NFL Rankings
The Green Bay Packers rank 30th in the Aikman Efficiency Ratings published by The 33rd Team.
Non-Football Injury List: CB Kevin King (hamstring), S Will Redmond (foot), OLB Za’Darius Smith (back), LB Isaiah McDuffie (hamstring), DT Kingsley Keke (ankle).
Physically Unable to Perform List: TE Dominique Dafney (knee), LT David Bakhtiari (knee), TE Josiah Deguara (knee).
Some Quick Reads
– Preston Smith has $4.4 million reasons to have a strong bounce-back season. He had a good day on Tuesday to continue a strong training camp. Early in the day, he chased running back Aaron Jones down the line for a minimal gain. Later, on third-and-long, he stormed into the backfield to force Rodgers into a premature throw.
– Rodgers threw a rainbow of a corner route to Adams but cornerback Jaire Alexander came out of his zone to grab the interception. After dropping out of practice on Saturday with cramps, Alexander had been taking limited reps the past couple days.
– During the 2-minute drill, Jones got the ball on a third-and-1 and picked up the first down. However, he ran into linebacker Krys Barnes and was dropped like a ton of bricks.
– Allen Lazard had his most productive day. Late in practice, he caught passes to convert a third-and-9, second-and-8 and third-and-5.
– Rodgers has been picking on first-round cornerback Eric Stokes but it’s all in making the rookie battle-tested. Rodgers said as much after beating him for a completion recently. “He just pretty much was telling me that he was going to make me better day in, day out to where like if I got any questions, please don’t be hesitant to ask. We all got one goal in mind. He’s just trying to make me the best person I can be.”
– The first offensive line combination of the day had Jenkins at left tackle, Jon Runyan at left guard, Myers at center, Ben Braden at right guard and Turner at right tackle. The next series of plays had Braden at left guard and Lucas Patrick at right guard. In not-quite-breaking news, LaFleur said Myers “more than likely” would be the starter. Myers has taken just about every rep with the No. 1 offense.
– Fourth-year cornerback Josh Jackson has taken his lumps at the start of camp but Rodgers went 0-for-2 on deep balls to Adams and Devin Funchess.
– During a kickoff period, Amari Rodgers, DeAndre Thompkins, Chandon Sullivan and Kylin Hill were in the return rotation.
– Here’s All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari on his role of mentor as he recovers from a torn ACL. “I think I’ve always tried to give everyone as much knowledge as I can. I think this has really tested me on my ability to articulate myself because I am more of a visual learner. I like to show people, so when I really can’t show anyone what to do, trying to articulate how to move your body in a certain way has been a learning and growing experience. It’s something that I would want if someone was in my shoes, so that’s kind of how I’ve been trying to approach this situation. It’s tough because (of) my knee. I only pop out for the last 10 minutes. I’m in the Hutson (Center) just sipping a martini and relaxing for the first hour and a half, and then I come out and pour some water on me so it looks like I did something.”
Packers Training Camp Schedule
The Packers will hold a closed practice on Wednesday, a public practice at 10:10 a.m. Thursday, and another closed practice on Friday before Saturday’s Family Night. Sunday is an off-day.