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Cheese Curds, 5/23: Start of OTAs presents opportunities for young Packers

Green Bay needs to find capable, consistent receivers while position battles open up all over the roster. The first true practice of the year will be a chance for youngsters to make good first impressions.

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Los Angeles Chargers v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Finally, the Green Bay Packers begin their organized team activities practices today. The Packers will be on the practice field three days this week: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with Tuesday’s practice reportedly open to the public (if weather permits).

It has been yet another long offseason, but this moment marks a turning point as the team finally begins to practice together — or at least mostly together — for the first time in 2022. The modifier in that sentence is here because of Aaron Rodgers’ expected absence from practices, but the rest of the squad should be in helmets and shorts this week to try to solidify or compete for starting jobs.

One competition got a small bit clearer a few days ago, as the Packers released one of three candidates for a specialist job. Meanwhile, the team will be looking forward to some first impressions from its handful of rookie wide receivers as Matt LaFleur and company try to build out a depth chart at that position.

All over the roster, these next four weeks of OTAs and minicamp will set the stage for training camp to begin in late July. But today’s first step onto the practice field as a team will be a big one, especially for the younger players on the team.

Packers release kicker JJ Molson | Packers Wire
When OTAs begin today, the Packers will have just two kickers on the roster -- the battle now is down to just Mason Crosby and Dominik Eberle.

6 potential NFC breakout candidates for the 2022 NFL season | PFF
OTAs are also a chance for second-year cornerback Eric Stokes to keep working on his ball skills. If he does improve in that area, his ceiling is astronomical.

How Allen Lazard hopes to fill the Packer's void left by Davante Adams | Des Moines Register
Lazard's hometown newspaper has this profile on the Packers receiver, who believes that his rapport with Aaron Rodgers can make him the go-to guy in 2022.

Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure go from pre-draft workouts to Packers' teammates - ESPN
The two day-three wideouts worked out together in the pre-draft process but didn't let themselves think too hard about the possibility of playing together in the NFL. Here they are in Green Bay with a great opportunity in front of them, starting today in the first OTA practice.

Evaluating 5th-year options for all 32 NFL teams: The good, bad and what’s trending - The Athletic ($)
The Packers have used their fifth-year option on every first-round pick since 2014 except for one, and that player (Damarious Randall) was traded before they needed to make the decision. It's quite a change from the first three years of the system, when the Packers chose not to option Derek Sherrod, Nick Perry, and Datone Jones.

Cigarette recall: Health Canada pulls packs over fire risk | CTV News
This begs the question: does Canada's health department know how to use cigarettes?