Packers Training Camp Practice Notebook 8/20: Hyde Promoted to #1 Punt Returner

Packers CB Micah Hyde returns a punt as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes. - Christian Petersen

Micah Hyde looks to be the team's top option at punt returner after today's practice.

In today's training camp practice, the Green Bay Packers appear to be solidifying permanent roles in certain key positions. Specifically, the race for the punt returner and right tackle are under the microscope, and each had some significant news coming out of today's work, which was done in shells.

  • A few players sat out practice today, as cornerback Loyce Means was added to the list (WH), along with Aaron Rodgers (RD). Wait, Rodgers missed practice? EVERYBODY FREAK OUT! Oh wait, don't panic. Never mind. Later in practice, Silverstein and Demovsky both reported that they were told that Rodgers sat today with a minor illness.
  • Corner James Nixon returned though, after sitting out yesterday (WH), but had to drop out of practice before it was finished (TS). Tight end Matthew Mulligan and wide receiver Randall Cobb continued to sit out.
  • With Rodgers out, Graham Harrell took the reps with the starters (RD).
  • Don Barclay appears to have the right tackle spot to himself now. He took all the first-team reps, while Marshall Newhouse took second-team snaps at both tackle spots (RD, TS). Another sign that he has the job was that he was taken off the kick return team and replaced with Lane Taylor (RD).
  • Is it possible that the Packers had a competent punt returner under their noses the whole time and have just failed to recognize it? That's what a few of the beat writers appear to be thinking now that Micah Hyde is regularly taking punts, and even started out as the #1 returner today.

  • Johnathan Franklin was the third man to take punt returns (behind Hyde and Jeremy Ross) but was the first one up no kickoff returns (TS).
  • If Ted Thompson's mantra about special teams contributions is true, Sam Barrington may be earning his way onto the roster that way. He was participating on both the top punt and kickoff return squads (RD), with Terrell Manning moved to the second team (WH). Of course, tipping a pass that leads to an interception helped out Barrington's case today as well (TD).
  • Here's an interesting tidbit from Tom Silverstein that makes our offseason prediction of Myles White making the roster look slightly less absurd:
  • And then Walker took White's place back on the first-team in 7 on 7 drills, so we're back where we started (MV).
  • B.J. Coleman uncorked a series of impressive touchdown passes late in practice to tight ends D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor (TD).
  • Graham Harrell unfortunately did not impress late in practice in the red zone and no-huddle drills, throwing a pick to Terrell Manning and being off-target on multiple deep passes (RD).

And there you have it. The big winners of the day have to be Hyde and Barclay, who appear to be moving up the depth chart and solidifying their spots.

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