The fully-padded Green Bay Packers finally hit the field today as we inch closer and closer to actual football being played. On Friday, the team will have their annual Family Night scrimmage, giving the home crowd a taste of what’s in store before the preseason kicks off next week against the San Francisco 49ers.
Today’s practice wasn’t as eventful as the early practices, as positional rotations have mostly been established at this point. The team also gave some veterans breathers, as the Packers have practiced six of the last seven days. As a reminder, tomorrow’s practice will be closed to the public, but the team will have one more open practice on Thursday before Family Night.
If you weren’t at practice today, here’s what you missed:
There were only two changes in participation today, tight end Marcedes Lewis and offensive lineman Cole Schneider. Lewis, the 38-year-old starter, was given a veteran rest day on the first day of fully-padded practices. Schneider, an undrafted rookie, injured his ankle during Monday’s practice and was seen in a walking boot on the sideline, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Ryan Wood.
Hopefully, this doesn’t mean the end of Schneider’s summer on the Packers’ practice fields. Green Bay has worked out more receivers and offensive linemen than any other positions, by far, over the last month, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them add another body to the position if Schneider’s injury is a long-term one.
The non-Schneider players who remain out, and have been for a week now, are running back Kylin Hill (PUP, knee), receiver Christian Watson (PUP, knee), receiver Malik Taylor (shoulder), tight end Robert Tonyan (PUP, knee), tackle David Bakhtiari (PUP, knee), offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins (PUP, knee) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (NFI, groin).
#Packers QB Jordan Love is making more throws that look like they’re from a skilled passer. Hit Sammy Watkins in stride on a deep corner and in 3rd and goal drill, threw a pretty pass into back corner that only Romeo Doubs could get. 87 made a fingertip catch and got feet down.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) August 2, 2022
After a tough couple of practices for second-string quarterback Jordan Love, it seems like Tuesday was his day to shine. Love was applauded for his efforts during team periods, finding both Sammy Watkins and Romeo Doubs for big plays. Doubs’ stretch of camp hype continues, as The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman noted that the team’s one-on-one drills ended today with the Nevada product beating 2021 first-rounder Eric Stokes for a touchdown, leading to Stokes slamming his helmet on the turf.
Here’s a vid I took at camp of Doubs beating Stokes on a go route with a perfect ball placement from Rodgers. So excited about this rookie!!! pic.twitter.com/i99oE9QDVV— Jedi Master Ober (@obersports) August 2, 2022
Over the first week of camp, the Packers had been playing one of two offensive line groups with “the ones” every other day. The first was Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Jake Hanson and Royce Newman, left to right. The second was Zach Tom, Runyan, Myers, Newman and Nijman. Today, the lineup finally changed, as the team decided to play Nijman at left tackle and Newman at right guard, opening up the right tackle spot for Tom.
Previously, Cole Van Lanen, a second-year sixth-rounder, would have been the right tackle in this situation. It’s nice to see one of the Packers’ three rookie draft pick offensive linemen establishing himself in the rotation, even if he’s only in while Bakhtiari and Jenkins are out.
One player who has made some noise this week is safety Vernon Scott, a third-year seventh-round pick. Scott has played in 18 games, with only three coming in 2021, recording 89 defensive snaps (zero in 2021) and 201 special teams snaps for the Packers. Scott intercepted Love yesterday and was being used as the third safety today in practice, per Packers.com’s Wes Hodkiewicz.
For the majority of this summer, Shawn Davis, who was picked up by Green Bay after his release from Indianapolis during final cuts in 2021, had been playing that role. Scott will be battling Davis, special-teams signing Dallin Leavitt, seventh-round rookie Tariq Carpenter and his former TCU teammate Innis Gaines for two to three roster spots behind starters Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage.
Elsewhere in the secondary, starting cornerback Jaire Alexander did not work with the squad during team periods. Rasul Douglas, who appears to be the team’s full-time slot corner in nickel personnel, stuck inside while second-year fifth-round pick Shemar Jean-Charles came off the bench to play outside cornerback, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Nixon was used as the team’s fourth cornerback for most of the offseason, but his groin injury is keeping him off the field. Jean-Charles seems like a clear leader in the race for the team’s fifth cornerback spot, though, return man Rico Gafford has a shot at pushing him for the job.
A few other players who received some praise today for their play were inside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie (Hodkiewicz) and defensive lineman Jarran Reed (Schneidman). As Acme Packing Company wrote yesterday in an article covering the team’s roster bubble, McDuffie’s emergence — along with the deep depth of the inside linebacker unit — could lead to veteran linebacker Ty Summers losing a spot on the team.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber, Runyan, a guard, snapped the ball for kicker Gabe Brkic today. He may have been practicing for an emergency situation, but undrafted rookie Jack Coco had been taking first reps at the position throughout training camp. The team also has Steven Wirtel, the team’s long snapper for most of the 2022 season, under contract.
Packers fans aren’t going to want to hear this, but the returners had a tough one today. Doubs let a few get away from him, Amari Rodgers muffed a punt and the recently-signed Ishmael Hyman muffed a punt, leading to Doubs getting a round of applause for just catching a punt cleanly.