After Friday’s Family Night practice, head coach Matt LaFleur stated that the team’s conditioning wasn’t up to par, which was one factor in ending the scrimmage early. On Sunday, the team’s first practice since Family Night, the Green Bay Packers adjusted by making it a walkthrough and giving their players extra rest to recover from draining their tanks on Friday.
In the pre-practice presser, LaFleur claimed that players who weren’t getting many reps in practice will likely be working more after practice to make sure their bodies are in “football shape” moving forward, but that the team has transitioned their focus to their preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers this upcoming Friday. The team will have two open practices this week, on Monday and Wednesday, before the Packers take the trip to Santa Clara.
The decision to do a walkthrough in the Don Hutson Center was made after Family Night, per LaFleur, but the rain in Green Bay likely would have pushed the practice indoors either way. Last week, the Packers practiced indoors when it rained, as they attempted to save the grass on Ray Nitschke Field for another day.
According to Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin, safeties Darnell Savage (hamstring) and Innis Gaines (hamstring) were the new additions to the team’s injury list today. Savage was pulled out of Family Night on Friday and was seen on the sideline with a bag of ice taped around his leg, though neither he nor LaFleur made it sound like his injury was serious. Receiver Randall Cobb was also given a veteran rest day.
Per Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, running back Patrick Taylor (groin), receiver Malik Taylor (shoulder) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (groin) returned to practice today. With Nixon’s participation, he has been officially removed from the league’s non-football injury list. Malik Taylor was seen wearing a red practice jersey, signifying a non-contact status. It will be interesting if Patrick Taylor will be healthy enough to suit up against the 49ers, as the Packers likely won’t play Aaron Jones or AJ Dillon, leaving the team with just two undrafted free agent running backs for the game, if Taylor can’t go.
LaFleur confirmed that outside linebacker Randy Ramsey was held out of Family Night due to his ankle. Ramsey recently came off of the physically unable to perform list after suffering a major ankle injury in the 2021 offseason that cost him the season. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Ramsey returned to practice on Sunday.
In even more injury news, Packer Report’s Andy Herman noted that kicker Mason Crosby and receiver Christian Watson were working with the rehab group alongside the practice field for the first time in camp. Generally, that is viewed as progress in their return to the field. Herman also mentioned that Nixon looked like a full go in practice today, too.
In a walkthrough, there is very little to learn from the on-field drills. The biggest on-field news today could be that safety Vernon Scott continued to take “starting” reps over Shawn Davis, per Packers.com’s Mike Spofford, in Savage’s absence. Davis had previously been featured in the team’s third safety dime packages and was assumed to be the next man up at the position until Family Night on Friday. Instead, Scott out-snapped Davis 23-2 with “the ones.”
Elsewhere on defense, Herman brought up that cornerback Jaire Alexander saw some work as a nickelback with Rasul Douglas lined up outside. This is the set that the team played with against the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs last season, but Douglas has been playing the slot primarily in nickel looks this summer. On Family Night, Alexander didn’t take a single snap in the slot and Douglas didn’t get a single snap on the outside with “the ones.”
CheeseheadTV’s Aaron Nagler mentioned that Jake Hanson, who is competing for the team’s starting right guard position, saw some snaps at center today with the starting group. Hanson has a background at both positions, in the mold of Lucas Patrick, and could very well be the team’s next man up if starting center Josh Myers goes down with an injury.
Lastly, Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber noted that the only two players to get punt return snaps today were receivers Amari Rodgers and Romeo Doubs, as Cobb was held out with his veteran rest day. Cornerback Rico Gafford, who has seen reps at both return positions, did not work with the group on Sunday.