Thursday's practice was the shortest practice of training camp thus far as the Green Bay Packers gear up for its first preseason game of the season Friday night at Lambeau Field.
Thursday was a fairly uneventful practice for the Packers; however, they again managed to add to their laundry list of injuries. Guard T.J. Lang missed practice with a back injury suffered yesterday in practice; McCarthy called it a "pretty solid collision" between Lang and an unnamed defender. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy returned to practice after missing yesterday's practice with a hamstring; however, Lacy didn't participate much and is unlikely to play tomorrow.
Second year man Andrew Datko suffered a concussion sometime this week and missed practice today, with no timetable on his return as of now. Rookie offensive lineman Lane Taylor also missed practice due to a personal issue. In total, 16 Packers didn't practice, which may be a cause for concern in Green Bay.
McCarthy wasn't overly thrilled with the way his team practiced today, saying that "it (practice) didn't start the way I wanted today." After a nonchalant effort by the Packers to start practice, McCarthy called his team into the middle of the field and reportedly "gave it to them," as ESPN writer Rob Demovsky described it. The Packers appeared to bounce back after their head coach blew up at them and McCarthy was pleased with how practice ended, "the last two periods were outstanding."
McCarthy moved on from the injuries and practice to talk about the game on Friday night.
He stated that the No. 1 offense will definitely play tomorrow night, however, was unsure of how much playing time they would receive.
McCarthy is hopeful newest member of the Packers quarterback Vince Young, who has struggled in training camp thus far will get the chance to play tomorrow night:
"The plan is to play him (Vince) tomorrow, he is definitely playing uphill right now," McCarthy said. "It's my responsibility to get him ready to play and play comfortable."
Another important position McCarthy addressed in the press conference was the kicking game. Giorgio Tavecchio and Mason Crosby will be alternating kicks throughout the night according to McCarthy. Tavecchio got the better of Crosby in the Family Fun Night Scrimmage and has caught the attention of his head coach.
According to McCarthy, his No. 1 goal for tomorrow's preseason opener is "make sure everybody plays."
McCarthy was adamant about performing in the preseason:
"Preseason games have always been the tiebreaker (when making roster decisions), McCarthy said. "At the end of the day it's about your game tape and what you did against competition."
Finally, McCarthy commented on the breaking news of the Wisconsin Badgers hosting the LSU Tigers at Lambeau Field in 2016:
"It’s great that the Badgers will be playing at Lambeau," McCarthy said. Then jokingly he added, "just don’t screw up our grass."
The Packers will host the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow night at Lambeau Field at 6 p.m. CST.