Injuries have depleted the ranks at outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.Even though the Packers didn’t practice on Wednesday, four players – if you include Clay Matthews -- were sidelined when they returned to the field on Thursday. Mike Neal hasn’t practiced at all during camp, Matthews has missed the last three practices, Adrian Hubbard has missed the last two and Nick Perry joined the injury list on Thursday with a sore groin.
That left Green Bay with Julius Peppers and Andy Mulumba as the No. 1 tandem. Peppers is 35 and Mulumba is coming back from a torn ACL. They were joined by second-year pro Jayrone Elliott and undrafted rookies James Vaughters and Jermauria Rasco.
Coach Mike McCarthy said he wasn’t worried about Peppers’ reps because the team didn’t practice on Sunday or Wednesday.
“I really think our practice schedule takes care of that,” McCarthy said. “In past, training camp environments where you play a lot more football, that would be the case. But we’ve got three practices, we’ve got a day off. We’ve got two practices, we had a stay day. Then this is our toughest stretch of training camp with three padded practices in a row. That really takes care of it.”
Running back Eddie Lacy returned without limitations after being limited on Tuesday with knee soreness. As for the outside linebackers, McCarthy said Neal is “getting closer” to returning. He had no timeline on Matthews.
Old injuries: WR Adrian Coxson (concussion), WR Ricky Collins (heel), RB John Crockett (ankle), OLB Adrian Hubbard (groin), OT Vince Kowalski (concussion), LB Clay Matthews (knee), WR Jared Abbrederis (concussion), OLB Mike Neal (abdomen/hernia).
New injury: OLB Nick Perry (groin).
Returned: RB Eddie Lacy (foot).
The Packers will hold their last early-morning practice on Friday, with an 8:20 a.m. start. Family Night is Saturday and Sunday is an off day.
Cornerback Sam Shields missed the first hour-and-a-half of practice due to a trip to the dentist. … In three punts from the defense’s 45-yard line, Tim Masthay’s punts went to the 10-, 11- and 4-yard line. Cody Mandell’s two punts went to the 6 and 15. In punts from the offense’s 4, Masthay hit bombs of 62 and 65 yards. Mandell was excellent, too with punts of 52 and 60 yards. … Kicker Mason Crosby made all six field-goal attempts, ranging from 33 to 46 yards. On the fifth, Mandell botched the hold and was replaced by Masthay. Crosby hasn’t missed with Masthay holding but has missed three (or four, if you include a block) with Mandell holding. … Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown five interceptions in six practices.
McCARTHY SAID …
On Rodgers’ interception count: “Like anything, whether it’s fumbles, no excuse, interceptions, no excuse for them, but they’re graded different than they are in the game. You look at the interception, is it a decision, is it the throw, is it the receiver? I’m just trying to go through the interception, I would think at least three or four of them were competitive balls. I mean, he’s going to do things in training camp that he might not obviously do on a Sunday – give guys chances to make plays and so forth. So I guess to answer your question, I’m not concerned about it.”
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