Cornerback Damarious Randall returned to practice on Monday and intends on playing in Sunday’s preseason game at Pittsburgh.
Randall, the Green Bay Packers’ first-round pick, dropped out of practice with a groin injury on Aug. 7. He returned the next day for Family Night but hadn’t practiced since and sat out Thursday’s preseason opener at New England.
“They say the game’s a lot different from practice, so as many reps as I can get in the preseason to help the team and to help me move forward as quickly as possible,” said Randall, taking a break from studying film on his laptop in the locker room.
Before the injury, Randall was the No. 4 cornerback, meaning significant snaps in the dime package. On Monday, with Casey Hayward out with an injured quad, it was second-round pick Quinten Rollins who joined Sam Shields as the cornerbacks in the base defense. Based on Rollins’ performance at New England, Randall vs. Rollins looks like it will be a key battleground for the rest of the preseason.
“We’re just kind of going out there and we’re just helping each other out,” Randall said. “Anytime we get out there, we’re just making us better, just giving us a lot more depth.”
Old injuries: WR Adrian Coxson (concussion), WR Javess Blue (shoulder), CB Tay Glover-Wright (hamstring), CB Demetri Goodson (calf), CB Kyle Sebetic (ankle), OLB Nick Perry (groin), LT David Bakhtiari (knee), DT Mike Daniels (ankle), TE Justin Perillo (concussion), WR Jared Abbrederis (concussion), DT Josh Boyd (knee), DT Letroy Guion (hamstring).
Later Monday, the Packers released Coxson. He hadn’t practiced since leaving in an ambulance early during the third day of practice. Abbrederis hasn’t practiced since the first day of training camp.
“Jared is a very good football player,” McCarthy said. “He’s one of those players you can — obviously you saw in college and just the time he’s been on the field here — it comes easy to him. It’s natural. He’s instinctive. Connecting with the quarterback in the passing game, he probably did that as quickly as anybody we’ve had around here. I mean, yeah, injuries are unfortunate. They’re part of the game, and this is an injury that’s obviously keeping him off the field.”
New injuries: CB Casey Hayward (quad), DT Bruce Gaston (illness).
Returned: CB Damarious Randall (groin).
The Packers will not practice on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they practice at 12:15 p.m., followed by an 11:45 session on Thursday. There is no practice on Friday and no public practice on Saturday leading to Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh, which is set for a noon kickoff.
A downpour arrived toward the end of practice. A starters-vs.-starters two-minute drill turned into an easy win for the defense. Aaron Rodgers moved the offense to one first down but his fourth-down pass was a wobbler that never got in Jordy Nelson’s range. ... Mason Crosby made six consecutive field goals ranging from 33 to 51 yards. That extended his streak to 27 straight in practice and 28 in a row including his one field goal at New England. ... With Bakhtiari missing a second consecutive day, Don Barclay again worked with the first unit at left tackle. “I think you really have to look at where we are,” McCarthy said. “We’re entering our second preseason week of training camp. You want to continue to create opportunities for players to increase their value. You do that by giving guys opportunities. That’s not different for Donnie Barclay. I know Bryan Bulaga can play left tackle. That’s something that we practice all the time. This is an opportunity for players to increase their value.” Before practice, McCarthy pointed to defensive tackle Mike Pennel as taking a “big jump.” Pennel then impressed during the half-line drill, including dumping guard Lane Taylor 3 yards in the backfield.
McCARTHY SAID …
On his return home for Sunday’s preseason game: “Going back to Pittsburgh is always fun. No place like home and that will definitely be the case Saturday the few hours I’ll be able to spend at home. My family lives a mile to two miles from downtown Pittsburgh. You just catch the 56E if that still runs out of downtown Pittsburgh right by the hotel where we’re staying. Yeah, it’s fun. I definitely prefer to go there in the preseason without a doubt. It’s easier.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.