With the Green Bay Packers’ preseason opener quickly approaching, the team got one final full practice in before their travel day on Thursday. Before practice, head coach Matt LaFleur told the media that the team will hold out a “veteran select” for the game, who he apparently pulled to the side after practice. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the group of players who will not play against the San Francisco 49ers will be QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, RB AJ Dillon, WR Allen Lazard, WR Sammy Watkins, WR Randall Cobb, TE Marcedes Lewis, TE Robert Tonyan, OT David Bakhtiari, OL Elgton Jenkins, NT Kenny Clark, DE Dean Lowry, DE Jarran Reed, OLB Rashan Gary, OLB Preston Smith, ILB De’Vondre Campbell, CB Jaire Alexander, CB Eric Stokes, CB Rasul Douglas, S Adrian Amos, S Darnell Savage and K Mason Crosby.
Assuming that those players won’t play at all this preseason, the best chance you’ll get at seeing them play good-on-good before the regular season will be in next week’s joint practices against the New Orleans Saints in Green Bay, leading up to their Week 2 matchup in the preseason.
LaFleur also noted today that offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich will be coaching from the sideline, not the booth, against the 49ers. The head coach stated that Stenavich’s position on gameday could change and that’s is preseason for more than just the players. With LaFleur still calling plays, it will be interesting to see who the eyes in the press box for the Packers offense will be, as their two most important offensive coaches will be on the sideline.
Here’s what happened on the field on Wednesday:
Elgton Jenkins rehab update: pic.twitter.com/IQyTgJ2mPH— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) August 10, 2022
General manager Brian Gutekunst started the day by claiming that both Bakhtiari and Jenkins, coming off of ACL injuries, have a “shot to play early in the season.” That would be a great development, as the Packers’ defense has gotten the best of Green Bay’s offensive line during training camp.
Per the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Ryan Wood, receiver Randall Cobb (foot), defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (concussion) and tight end Dominique Dafney (knee) were additions to the team’s injury list. Beyond those three additions, the following players remained as non-participants in practice: RB Kylin Hill (knee, PUP), WR Christian Watson (knee, PUP), TE Tonyan (knee, PUP), T Bakhtiari (knee, PUP), OL Jenkins (knee, PUP), OL Cole Schneider (ankle), OLB Randy Ramsey (ankle), CB Donte Vaughn (hamstring), S Savage (hamstring) and K Crosby (knee, PUP).
Over the past week, the Green Bay Packers’ first-team offensive line has consistently been (left to right) Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Jake Hason and Royce Newman, with Zach Tom mixing in at right tackle and Newman playing some right guard. This was also the lineup that the Packers disclosed in their first unofficial depth chart of the 2022 year. With none of the offensive line “starters” qualifying as the “veteran select” who will not be suited up against the 49ers, assume this will be the lineup to block for quarterback Jordan Love on Friday.
The offensive line must have gotten tired of getting pushed around since the pads came on, as Packer Report’s Andy Herman noted that the offensive line was popping off runs early on in practice on Wednesday. Worth mentioning is that Caleb Jones, an undrafted free agent, was getting left tackle snaps with the second-string team, per Packers.com’s Wes Hodkiewicz. Reminder: Seventh-round rookie Rasheed Walker was a left tackle at Penn State.
Per Wood, quarterback Aaron Rodgers did take snaps with the ones today, despite missing Tuesday for a veteran’s day of rest. The Packers did not treat this as a practice to get ready for the 49ers, a game Rodgers will not participate in.
According to Herman, no receiver was called up to work with “the ones” with Cobb out of practice. Lazard, Watkins, Romeo Doubs and Juwann Winfree got action with the first-string team. All four of those receivers (and Cobb) out-snapped Amari Rodgers’ reps with “the ones” on Family Night.
FIRST SCUFFLE OF CAMP— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) August 10, 2022
Didn’t see what caused it, but Rashan Gary just came in HOT and shoved TE Alizé Mack with some force.
No punches thrown and cooler heads have now prevailed.
The safety position has been an interesting position to watch following Savage’s injury. Throughout the summer, Shawn Davis was the team’s primary third safety in three-safety dime formations. The assumption was that he would take over if there was an injury at the position, but Vernon Scott replaced Savage on Family Night and in practices until yesterday when Davis got the first crack in a red zone drill. Scott returned to the “starting” role today, per Herman.
There’s a decent chance only one of those safeties makes the initial 53-man roster, as the other safety position, if they only keep four, will likely be used on a special teams player for coordinator Rich Bisaccia. Competition may be the best thing for the safety position, though, as Davis hauled in two interceptions while Scott pulled in another today.
Another position to keep an eye out for defensively is the team’s pass-rushing depth. According to Herman, Smith sat out a significant amount of snaps on Wednesday, likely as load management, which pushed players like Jonathan Garvin and Tipa Galeai into playing time with the first-stringers. Garvin, Kinsley Enagbare and La’Darius Hamilton all got six snaps as outside linebackers behind Gary (17 snaps) and Smith (15) with “the ones” on Family Night while Galeai mostly saw time with the third-string team.