You can only save so much of Ray Nitschke Field’s grass before the team has to return to practicing outdoors. That was the message head coach Matt LaFleur stated in his pre-practice press conference when asked if the Green Bay Packers were going to practice indoors for the third time in a week due to the Wisconsin rain.
According to LaFleur’s comments early last week, the team is now fully out of their “install” period of camp and is using these practices to prepare players for preseason games moving forward. Today’s practice was one of two public practices that the Packers had left on their schedule this week. After this week, there will be two more public practices in Green Bay this summer, on the 16th and 17th, which will be joint practices with the New Orleans Saints, likely the most intense looks that the starters will get until Week 1 of the regular season.
If you weren’t able to make it down to Nitschke today, here’s what you missed:
In the pre-practice presser, LaFleur mentioned that we should not expect safety Darnell Savage, out with a hamstring injury, to return to the field this week. While the injury doesn’t sound serious, the team is at least giving him a week off of practice after he was pulled out of Friday night’s Family Night.
Tackle David Bakhtiari (PUP, knee) worked out alongside the field today, as did tight end Robert Tonyan (PUP, knee), offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins (PUP, knee), receiver Christian Watson (PUP, knee), running back Kylin Hill (PUP, knee) and safety Innis Gaines (groin.) According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, inside linebacker Ty Summers missed practice with a non-Covid-related illness while tight end Marcedes Lewis was given a veteran rest day.
only one powerful enough to stop him pic.twitter.com/ILySWsY2vG— Tyler Herrick (@TylerHerrick) August 8, 2022
Doubs Watch 2022 continued on Monday. It was a bit of a mixed bag for Romeo Doubs, as he was able to take advantage of linebacker/safety Tariq Carpenter in one-on-ones, but met his match in cornerback Jaire Alexander. By all accounts, Alexander had a great practice, which included two solo rep “wins” against the rookie.
According to Packer Report’s Andy Herman, the offensive line today was Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Jake Hanson and Royce Newman, the same squad that started off practice on Family Night. Just as they did on Friday, the offensive line added Zach Tom at right tackle, kicking Newman into right guard and moving Hanson to the second team, per Packers.com’s Mike Spofford.
All three of the linemen who line up on the right side of the line struggled some on Friday. Today, the reporting from camp stated that the defensive line once again got the best of them in team periods. Until Bakhtiari and/or Jenkins can make it back to the field, it’s uncertain if that will change anytime soon.
After a solid week of practice, quarterback Jordan Love struggled some today. Everyone on the beat tweeted about an interception he threw to inside linebacker Krys Barnes in the team’s two-minute drill. Spofford said, “Love knew it as soon as he let it go.” The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman noted that he would have been sacked on the play if it were live and that it hit Barnes right in the chest. Herman added he had “no idea what [Love] was looking at.”
Alexander’s great day in coverage also saw him play the slotback role, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Ryan Wood, for the second consecutive practice after lining up as an outside cornerback for every single snap he was on the field for on Family Night. Wood also noted that Keisean Nixon, who was recently activated off of the non-football injury list, was the team’s second-string slot in practice.
Prior to his injury, Nixon was the team’s fourth cornerback. On Family Night, the team played Shemar Jean-Charles as their fourth cornerback and second slot while Rico Gafford, who contributes as a returner, was the team’s fifth cornerback and third outside option. There’s a real chance that Nixon, Jean-Charles and Gafford all make the 53-man roster and play significant special teams snaps for the team this season.
Both Spofford and Herman raved about defensive lineman Jarran Reed, who might have been the player of the day at practice. Reed, at the very least, should start with the team as a 3-4 defensive end and split reps with Dean Lowry at nickel defensive tackle next to nose tackle Kenny Clark. Currently, Devonte Wyatt, despite a strong Family Night, is fifth in the defensive line rotation.
One defender who is seemingly having a tough time adjusting to the league is rookie Tariq Carpenter, who is in between positions at linebacker and safety. Tight end Dominique Dafney, who is not known as a burner, was able to best him in one-on-ones (see above.) When the safeties are healthy, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Vernon Scott, Shawn Davis and Dallin Leavitt are all seeing snaps ahead of him defensively. Scott once again “started” at safety today with Savage out, which could put Davis’ roster spot at real risk.
According to Wood, backup kicker Gabe Brkic missed another field goal under 50 yards today, though there was some weather in Green Bay. When Mason Crosby returns from his knee injury, he will likely make the roster without being pushed much for his starting job.
Ishmael Hyman, who did not practice with the punt returners yesterday, saw action today and muffed back-to-back opportunities, per Herman, despite having a solid camp. As a reminder, Hyman was recently signed by the team from the USFL ranks, making him one of three players from the spring league to be added to the Packers’ roster this offseason.