The Packers wrapped up their first padded practice of the 2020 season in a tidy one hour and nine minutes on Tuesday, though the on-field session was marred somewhat by a few injuries.
Corey Linsley didn’t practice, though head coach Matt LaFleur says Linsley’s absence was “just precautionary,” but both Za’Darius Smith and Montravius Adams dropped out of practice with injuries.
The Packers turned to both Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick in relief of Linsley. Both have played center in the past, with Patrick performing center duties in spot relief for Linsley last season and Jenkins playing there extensively in college. LaFleur specifically pointed to Jenkins’ versatility as an extremely valuable asset.
“He’s played it all in college,” LaFleur told reporters Tuesday. “Any time you have a guy with that kind of versatility, it adds a lot to your room and your roster”
Injuries notwithstanding, LaFleur said he was pleased with the team’s first practice in pads this year, noting that energy and effort have been consistent throughout the team’s first three on-field practices.
“Guys are into it,” he said. “It’s been great to have them back in the building. I think they’re competing at a high level. We’ve just got to put together good days and build on them every day.”
Competition could include some movement at tight end. Though Jace Sternberger is the presumptive starter, LaFleur said Robert Tonyan shouldn’t be counted out yet.
“He worked really hard this offseason. You can tell he’s in great shape,” LaFleur said. “It’s gonna be a competitive situation, not only in that room but for every position on this team.”