June 12, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers tackle Derek Sherrod during the team's mandatory minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
Andrew Quarless, Derek Sherrod and John Kuhn all failed to pass their physicals upon arrival at Green Bay Packers training camp, while three other players questionable for Thursday's initial practice. Quarless and Sherrod both suffered devastating injuries late in the season and weren't expected to be ready to start camp. Sherrod is expected back in camp eventually, while Quarless was never expected to be ready early in camp and could miss a lot of time. Kuhn is expected to be back quicker than the other two.
The other two injured players are Charlie Peprah and Alex Green, who all missed part or all of OTAs and minicamp. I'm thrilled to learn that Green did not fail his physical and that he could potentially be cleared to practice tomorrow. Even if he doesn't take the field on Thursday, Green's recovered faster than expected, which is amazing news. Peprah's injury isn't anything new and Mike McCarthy said he's not sure whether or not he'll be available Thursday.
Of course, no one wants to take or lose a job due to injury, but it happens. It's the reality of sports. And these injuries have granted some huge opportunities to Marshall Newhouse, M.D. Jennings and every tight end on the roster.
Because of Sherrod's injury, there might not be much of a competition in camp for the starting left tackle position. For better or for worse, Newhouse is going to take the first team reps at left tackle for the foreseeable future. Given that we don't yet have a timetable on Sherrod's return, it would be very surprising if he lost his job to Sherrod during this camp or preseason. We're still a long way off from the first preseason game of the year, however, and things could change over the next week.
At the safety spot, Jennings will certainly have a leg up on Peprah. He already had the advantage of playing with the first team defense in OTAs and minicamp, where he was impressive, and he'll continue to work with the first team defense tomorrow. Given Jennings' athletic upside and Peprah's average performances last year, Jennings is entering camp as the slight favorite to win the No. 2/3 safety job. Because of the flexibility of Charles Woodson and Morgan Burnett, the strong safety/free safety distinction is irrelevant.
It's unlikely that Nic Cooper and Jon Hoese can win a roster spot with their time spent on the field in John Kuhn's absence, but crazier things have happened. Unfortunately for them, the Packers are a bit too loaded at wide receiver and tight end to take another luxury like a second fullback.
And speaking of tight end, even though the Quarless injury was expected, it's still worth noting that it presents very good opportunities for Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor and D.J. Williams. Given the progress Quarless made last year and the depth at wide receiver, one of those guys was probably going to have to go if Quarless was healthy. Now, there's a chance that they could all make the initial 53-man roster for Week 1.