Will Jordy Nelson participate in the Green Bay Packers’ opening practice of training camp?
“We’ll sit down this afternoon and go through it, all of those things,” coach Mike McCarthy said during Monday morning’s camp-opening press conference, conducted while players went through physicals and conditioning tests. “I saw Jordy last week in the training room, did visit with him briefly.”
After McCarthy met with general manager Ted Thompson and the training staff, the verdict was rendered. Nelson and five others will be sidelined for the start of training camp.
According to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky, Nelson, tight end Jared Cook, guard T.J. Lang, center Corey Linsley, receiver Ty Montgomery and inside linebacker Sam Barrington will open training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Those six players sat out the offseason practices. At the end of minicamp, McCarthy thought “maybe” one player wouldn’t be cleared for the start of camp and he’d be “disappointed if everybody’s not ready to go.”
While McCarthy might be disappointed, at this point, the list is little more than a formality, as the players can practice once they are cleared by the training staff. With a longer training camp and five-game preseason, there will be ample time for the injured players to get up to speed, so long as their injuries don’t linger. A player who is still on the preseason PUP list when 53-man rosters are set can be placed on the regular-season PUP list, which sidelines a player for the first six weeks of the regular season.
Nelson missed last season with a torn ACL. While he did some individual drills during the offseason practices, he was not allowed to participate in any 11-on-11 work. Once that phase of his comeback begins, it shouldn’t take him long to rekindle the chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“I think we’re all confident, Aaron and Jordy included, that they’re going to get it back,” McCarthy said. “It’s just getting back out on the field and getting the reps. You’re talking about two players that have, shoot, thousands of reps invested in their time together. Yeah, I have great confidence they’ll get that back.”
— Along with the PUP moves, two other players who were sidelined for the minicamp, running back Don Jackson and defensive end B.J. McBryde, were released. That leaves the Packers with 88 players on their roster.
Also of note from McCarthy:
-- After winning his second MVP award in 2014, Rodgers had the worst season of his career last year as he and the rest of the offense couldn’t recover from Nelson’s injury. McCarthy expects Rodgers to bounce back in a big way.
“I would say Aaron’s vibe, and really his offseason participation and performance, looks to line up for a great year. He’s in great shape. I would say this is the best shape I’ve seen him in. He’s, as always, very into the details of the coaching and the adjustments we make offensively. As a coaching staff, we always go through the scheme evaluation. That’s what February, March and April are for. And then when the players get back, particularly the quarterbacks, they get it first. You massage it, you go through it, and Aaron’s input’s important because you want to fit it all together and get it repped as an offense. That process was very smooth. I would say he’s ready to go. I know he’s excited to get started.”
-- McCarthy said he had not seen running back Eddie Lacy, so he couldn’t provide an update on Lacy’s offseason conditioning.
-- Despite the possibility of injury, a fact driven home by Nelson’s injury last year, McCarthy is embracing playing in the Hall of Fame Game and the resulting five-game preseason.
“The more you think about the Hall of Fame game and you take the spring and you talk to different coaches and personnel people around the league to see their approach as far as the practices and so forth, it really creates a whole other challenge for your team, which I'm excited about. When you define flow, flow doesn't always mean it's just smooth, everything's the same every day. This will be a really good gauge to see how our guys respond going really right from the installation phase, which won't even be completed when we play that game, right into a football game. That's obviously been planned out. That's really what May and June is for. That's where we put our extra time in. I think it's just part of a unique training camp challenge, but with that it gives you more information in the evaluation process for our roster.”
-- McCarthy said he’s got two starting centers with Corey Linsley and J.C. Tretter.
-- McCarthy likes the veteran experience and the rookies’ professionalism, and said the players in Year 2 through Year 5 will play a pivotal role. “I think it’s a roster that has a lot of balance to it, and it’s going to be very competitive, and I think it’s going to be a hell of a training camp.”
-- The Packers will practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8:15 a.m., with Family Night set for Sunday night at 6:25 p.m. By league rule, the team will not put on pads until Thursday.
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.