Mike McCarthy Presser 8/15: Player Availability for St. Louis

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy discusses his players' availability for this week's preseason game.

At this point, you can expect Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy's press conferences to include injury updates and a tidbit or two about which reserve player impressed that day. There isn't much else to be gleaned at this point in training camp.

One of the surprises from today's practice was the absence of starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith. McCarthy did not elaborate on his status for Saturday's preseason matchup with the Rams, but he did say Greg Van Roten would be the next in line. Van Roten's performance the past few weeks has impressed the coaches, but he's also the only option. The Don Barclay center experiment never produced positive results, and only Dietrich-Smith and Van Roten have snapped to Aaron Rodgers. A strong showing should seal a roster spot for Van Roten. "Whether Greg can be the backup is up to him. A couple things haven't been clean. It's different when you get in there and you're the guy. If he does play a lot, this will be a huge experience for him."

As McCarthy hinted towards on Monday, DuJuan Harris will be inactive for the Rams game. According to McCarthy, Harris is "ready," but the team wants to limit him this week to guarantee he's 100% going forward. That's the smart play given Harris' lack of practice. All too often, players who miss significant practice time suffer serious injuries when they return too quickly. The Packers certainly don't want Harris to be one of them.

There is some good news at running back, however. McCarthy said rookie running back Eddie Lacy will play this weekend. Lacy was one of the highlights of the Family Night Scrimmage, but hasn't faced live tackling since. This will be the team's first look at how Lacy performs in against another team.

McCarthy shrugged off Donald Driver's comments about Aaron Rodgers' leadership. "I didn't read the whole thing. I didn't understand it. Aaron handles his responsibilities well. I'm very fond of Donald. I know he's having a tough period with his [father's passing]. But I don't know what to really say about his comments." Normally, McCarthy wouldn't even address a situation like this, so it's fair to read this as an indication that he's not pleased. Coaches don't like distractions, and coupled with Greg Jennings' criticisms, this could potentially become one.

After a strong day of practice, Micah Hyde earned more praise from the head coach. "Hyde is a good football player. One thing that impresses me is his ability to anticipate and make plays on the ball." Like most of the defensive backfield, Hyde did not have the best showing in last week's preseason game. However, it sounds like the coaches don't believe that's who he really is as a football player. With Casey Hayward and Tramon Williams unlikely to return before this Saturday, look for Hyde try to take advantage of the extra playing time.

That's all from McCarthy. Keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company for the latest Packers news and updates.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn

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