Thursday Practices: Matthews vs. Thompson, Rouse, Bishop, and Hawk

According to Rob Demovsky, bad weather forced the morning practice for the Green Bay Packers inside and 20 players sat out, so:

The morning practice was easily the most non-competitive (i.e. boring) practice so far.

One of the expected battles in training camp was supposed to be LB Clay Matthews vs. LB Jeremy Thompson for the starting right outside linebacker spot, but according to Mike McCarthy, both of them are still hurt and will miss the Buffalo game on Saturday. Although DT B.J. Raji should get his first action on the field.

S Aaron Rouse was the big story when he was carted off the practice field with a hamstring injury. McCarthy's kicking himself; he could have stopped practice three plays earlier. It hasn't been reported how bad the injury is. Judging the way the Packers training staff has been reluctant to let Matthews play with his injured hamstring, even a less severe injury might keep him out a while. He had no chance at beating out either S Atari Bigby or S Nick Collins for a starting job, but he is the top backup. I'm not sold on free agent S Anthony Smith yet, but at least he provides more depth then they had last season.

LB Desmond Bishop has been one of the stars in training camp. Something was bothering him during practice, but apparently it was nothing serious.

We've been discussing whether LB A.J. Hawk has reached bust status. The stats have shown that he isn't good at stopping the run. While I've read some criticisms that he is thinking too much, it's seemed like the bigger problem is that he's having trouble getting off blocks. I noticed that a lot last season, but I couldn't tell for sure from just watching TV. Was it just a play here and there or a real problem? From Greg Bedard:

Want to sum up Hawk's training camp? Andrew Hartline just rode him out of a play. Hawk couldn't get off the block at all.

And what's really awful is that I had to go look up who OL Andrew Hartline is.

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