Jordy Nelson’s season-ending knee injury won’t have Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy rethinking how he plays his front-line performers in the preseason.
“This is the game of football,” McCarthy said before Tuesday’s practice. “You have to play, whether it’s two games or three games and things like that. You’re getting the team ready to play. The medical report does factor into your path through training camp. You’re aware of that and it will affect the way we play the game Saturday.”
The medical report for Tuesday’s practice potentially could have a profound impact on Saturday’s preseason game against Philadelphia at Lambeau Field.
Only nine players missed practice but there were some big names. Key among them, three-fifths of the starting offensive line, with left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), left guard Josh Sitton (ankle) and right guard T.J. Lang (concussion) out of action. So, too, was backup quarterback Scott Tolzien (concussion).
The Packers will practice again on Wednesday. If those three are out again, would McCarthy want to risk MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers behind a makeshift offensive line? Even if the linemen play on Saturday, would McCarthy want to play them for, say, the entire first half when they’re less than full strength?
That leads to the possibility that Brett Hundley and Matt Blanchard could play most — if not all — of Saturday’s game.
“This is a huge week for Brett Hundley and Matt and the fact that they’re going to be playing against potentially Philadelphia’s No. 1s,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know what their plan is and it’s irrelevant to what our plan’s going to be. But this is a big, big week for our young guys on offense. They’re going to be playing against top competition and this will be great evaluation for us.”
Old injuries: WR Javess Blue (shoulder), LT David Bakhtiari (knee), TE Justin Perillo (concussion), WR Jared Abbrederis (concussion).
For the first time since a hard fall on the first day of training camp, Abbrederis at least was on the practice field.
“Jared is still going through the concussion protocol,” McCarthy said. “I knew on the field when he fell that it was serious. I was hoping it was his back, so he's still working his way through it.”
New injuries: QB Scott Tolzien (concussion), G T.J. Lang (concussion), G Josh Sitton (ankle), DE Datone Jones (knee), WR Jordy Nelson (knee).
Returned: CB Demetri Goodson (calf), CB Kyle Sebetic (ankle), S Morgan Burnett (personal), LB Clay Matthews (elbow), DT Mike Daniels (ankle).
The Packers will practice at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday. There is no practice on Thursday and no public practice on Friday leading to Saturday’s game against Philadelphia, which is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff. After that, only one public practice remains in training camp: 11:45 a.m. on Monday.
The first 11-on-11 rep had Davante Adams and rookie Ty Montgomery as the outside receivers with Randall Cobb in the slot. ... Practice was not in pads. ... Rookie fullback Aaron Ripkowski is making his bid for a roster spot. After two special-teams tackles against the Steelers, he worked with the No. 1 unit on kickoff return and punt on Tuesday. ... At inside linebacker, Clay Matthews and Sam Barrington were the first pair and Nate Palmer and Carl Bradford mostly formed the second unit. ... Casey Hayward (against Blanchard) and HaHa Clinton-Dix (against Hundley) had interceptions. ... The No. 1 line had, from left, Don Barclay, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Josh Walker and Bryan Bulaga. J.C. Tretter and Taylor alternated at left guard.
McCARTHY SAID …
On limiting reps in the preseason due to Nelson’s injury: “What would you want me to do?”
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 www.twitter.com/PackerReport.