Saturday’s Family Night was a rousing success for the Green Bay Packers.
Namely, there were no replays of the 2013 Family Night, when the Packers’ master plan for the offensive line went up in smoke with Bryan Bulaga’s torn ACL.
“It’s a win every single practice when you walk off the field and you don’t have a major injury. And that’s really how I view it,” coach Mike McCarthy said before scrambling back out to watch the post-practice fireworks. “Injuries are a part of the game. You do everything you can from a risk-assessment focus to try to minimize those big injuries. Because the big injuries obviously change things – change starting lineups, change opportunities and maybe even change your direction.”
No directions had to be changed on Saturday. The only apparent injury was to receiver Javess Blue, who landed awkwardly after dropping a pass from Brett Hundley.
With only two practices before Thursday’s preseason opener at New England, the Packers are in relatively good shape. Of the 11 players who missed practice, not one involves a player who fills an instrumental role on an offense that led the NFL in scoring last season. The story’s different on defense, with linebackers Clay Matthews, Nick Perry and Mike Neal sidelined.
“Yeah, it’s good to see – from what we know – everyone healthy,” Bulaga said. “You never want to see injuries in this deal. I know it’s a great deal for the fans. It’s good to get families out here for the fireworks and everything like that, but you never want to see guys get nicked up in this. I know last year was a big mental hurdle for me on this night. I think every time I come back out here on Family Night it will be a little bit of a mental battle with myself. Just get out here and compete and have fun and stay healthy. That’s really, when I look at Family Night, that’s how I look at it.”
Old injuries: WR Adrian Coxson (concussion), WR Ricky Collins (heel), OLB Adrian Hubbard (groin), OT Vince Kowalski (concussion), LB Clay Matthews (knee), OLB Nick Perry (groin), DT Mike Pennel (groin), WR Jared Abbrederis (concussion), OLB Jayrone Elliott (shoulder), OLB Mike Neal (abdomen/hernia).
New injuries: DT Letroy Guion (hamstring).
Returned: CB Damarious Randall (groin), ILB Josh Francis (hip), G T.J. Lang (shoulder), TE Mitchell Henry (finger).
The Packers will not practice on Sunday. They get back to work with practices at 12:15 p.m. on Monday and 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday. There is no practice on Wednesday before Thursday’s preseason opener at New England, which starts at 6:30 p.m.
Attendance was 67,191. For a practice. … Mason Crosby made all eight field goal attempts, from 33 to 51 yards. He made four kicks apiece from the holds of punters Tim Masthay and Cody Mandell. … Running back Eddie Lacy carried only once. … Aaron Rodgers threw only six passes in 11-on-11 situations. The first of those passes was intended for Davante Adams but intercepted by HaHa Clinton-Dix with a toe-tapping grab on the far sideline. His next pass, a deep pass to Larry Pinkard, was almost intercepted by Damarious Randall. Two plays later, Tay Glover-Wright picked off a Scott Tolzien pass that went through the hands of Jimmie Hunt. … Pinkard dropped Tolzien’s pass in the end zone on the lone two-minute drive. It was one of five drops (Pinkard, Blue, Hunt, Jeff Janis, Justin Perillo).
McCARTHY SAID …
“I’d like to first start off with the fact that this is a great day to be a Green Bay Packer. What an outstanding atmosphere we had out there tonight. The night started off with Ron Wolf’s induction into the Hall of Fame, so he got us started – that was fun to watch. The players really looked forward to this evening. Gives us a chance to practice our pregame routines before we go onto next week and our first preseason game up in New England. I thought the work was excellent, the crowd was phenomenal. It’s an atmosphere that’s second to none and we’re so blessed to have the best fans in football.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.