Thursday marked the Green Bay Packers’ second day of training camp and the star of the show today was receiver Romeo Doubs, a fourth-round rookie out of Nevada who has made the most out of his opportunities with Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins injured. We’ll have to see if he can continue this momentum into Saturday, as the Packers have a day off tomorrow before returning to the practice field.
Here’s what you need to know from practice number two in Green Bay:
Packers injuries for those not practicing:— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) July 28, 2022
Christian Watson: knee
Sammy Watkins: hamstring
Kylin Hill: knee
Mason Crosby: knee
Keisean Nixon: groin
Randy Ramsey: ankle
Rasheed Walker: foot
Malik Taylor: shoulder
Akial Byers: hamstring
The Packers released an injury report today, which cleared up some of the reasonings for players being put on the physically unable to perform or non-football injury lists. Only two players who did not participate today (WR Malik Taylor and DL Akial Byers) did not start training camp on an injury list. The Packers may have shown up banged up, but at least they’ve avoided a major injury since they arrived.
Outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin did return to the team today, which is good news. Garvin, a 2020 seventh-round pick, is set to compete for a depth position this summer.
Even more offensive line shuffling
In the pre-practice press conference, head coach Matt LaFleur said that the team was going to move around their offensive line pieces throughout the offseason. Yesterday, the big moves were Yosh Nijman moving to left tackle, Royce Newman kicking out to right tackle and Jake Hanson coming off the bench to play right guard. When the Packers returned to the field today, none of those linemen were playing in the same spots when “the ones” lined up for the first time.
According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Ryan Wood, the offensive line (left-to-right) was Zach Tom, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Newman and Nijman. Nijman had been practicing at right tackle during minicamp when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was under center and Newman started at right guard last year, so their situations were hardly a surprise. What is interesting about this group is that Tom, a fourth-round rookie, was in at left tackle instead of Cole Van Lanen, a second-year sixth-round pick, who had previously taken left tackle snaps when Nijman was playing on the right side.
Tom is an advanced pass-protector who fell down the draft due to his center-like size but can play any position on the line. It’s also worth noting that Tom got a crack at left tackle before Sean Rhyan, who played left tackle at UCLA and was drafted nearly 50 picks ahead of Tom in April’s draft.
Garvin returns, but not on the first two lines on the depth chart
As mentioned previously, Jonathan Garvin returned to the practice field today, but, as Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber noted, he was behind La’Darius Hamilton and Tipa Galeai in the pass-rusher rotation. The Packers desperately needed to improve their line of scrimmage depth this offseason and addressed the interior with the signing of Jarran Reed and the drafting of first-round pick Devonte Wyatt. On the edge, though, their only significant personnel changes were the drafting of Kingsley Enagbare and the hopeful return of Randy Ramsey, who is on the physically unable to perform list.
Hamilton and Galeai didn’t cut it last season off the bench and it’s not a great sign that Garvin and Enagbare, two draft picks, aren’t jumping up the depth chart this summer. Many have speculated that Green Bay could add a receiver around the trade deadline, but adding a Whitney Mercilus-type of veteran pass-rusher could be a more impactful way to change the team. For reference, starting outside linebackers Preston Smith and Rashan Gary only played 64 percent and 63 percent of the team’s total defensive snaps last year, respectively, which means that “backups” will have plenty on their plate in that role.
The Romeo Doubs show
The excitement around rookie receiver Romeo Doubs started early on Thursday and never stopped. If it wasn’t holding onto the ball while taking a hit from safety Darnell Savage, it was going toe-to-toe with cornerback Eric Stokes. If it wasn’t “Mossing” a touchdown on an end zone fade, it was ending practice with a score.
We don’t have to pretend that the receiver room is healthy right now, but a rookie making the most of his chances with quarterback Aaron Rodgers while he has them is exactly what Green Bay needed. With Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb seeing the ball the most out of the slot, there’s going to be an opportunity to line up wide for this team. Until Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and Christian Watson (knee) can return to practice, no one has more of an opportunity to rise up the receiver depth chart than the acrobatic Nevada wideout. Rodgers stated earlier this offseason that he values production over potential, and the longer Doubs is out on the field, the better chance he has to convince his quarterback and coaching staff that his needle is leaning toward production.