In the NFL’s annual JV showcase, there was Letroy Guion jogging into the Green Bay Packers’ defensive huddle in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s preseason victory over the Saints.
While Packers coach Mike McCarthy kept most of his starters behind lock and key, Guion — with nothing to look forward to beyond a three-game suspension that starts on Friday — logged plenty of time as B.J. Raji got the night off and Mike Daniels and Mike Pennel played only the first series.
“It felt pretty good, the first time out there really going for a long period of time,” said Guion, who missed part of training camp with an injured hamstring. “It was good to open up the lungs and get that good, deep, hard, breather in before I’m going to be out for a while.”
Guion was arrested in his hometown of Starke, Fla., in early February. While he avoided prosecution, the suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy was upheld last Thursday. He plans to stay in Green Bay during the suspension and can do everything but practice and play.
“I’m going to come back ready to go (and) prepared,” Guion said. “I’m going to be ready to help my team win. Missing three games, I’ve got to let it all go because I’ve missed out on three games. That’s a lot of snaps and a lot of stats that I’ve missed out on. I’m not going to focus on that. I’m going to keep it positive and work hard and get the extra work and build my muscle so I can get ready to come back and be explosive.”
Guion won’t be the only member of the Packers’ defensive line missing when they play at Chicago on Sept. 13. So, too, will be Datone Jones. Jones, the team’s first-round pick in 2013, will be serving a one-game suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy.
Jones didn’t play on Thursday due to a knee injury sustained at Pittsburgh on Aug. 23. He said he would have been ready to go for the Bears.
“I’m pissed that I can’t be part of this game, especially to start out the season,” he said. “But I have to do my part by staying in shape and being accountable while I’m away this week and keep my focus going. Even though I missed these two preseason games, I’m OK, and I’ll be back for Seattle. I feel like this preseason was a real hard learning lesson for me, I came in and I led our defense in sacks this preseason, and now I just have to keep it going into the regular season.”
Neither Guion nor Jones will count on the 53-man roster that must be selected on Saturday.
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 www.twitter.com/PackerReport.