OTA notebook: Rodgers makes public debut

Harris and Woodson are absent; Grant doesn't practice; Harrell had back surgery.

Aaron Rodgers' public unveiling as the Green Bay Packers' new starting quarterback took place in the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday, where the team held its first open session of organized team activities.

The practice was supposed to be held outdoors and be open to the public. Instead, even on a sunny though breezy day, practice was held inside — in which case, practice is generally closed to the public — but the team let fans inside along a portion of the east sideline.

As for Rodgers? Well, there's not much that can be gleaned out of a workout with shorts. He didn't throw any passes against the Packers' starting defense, though he did riddle a defense made up of whatever offensive players weren't running a play at the moment.

He did, however, show a live arm, especially compared to rookie seventh-round pick Matt Flynn.

No. 1 defense

Speaking of the starting defense, most of the Packers' No. 1 unit was there, though veteran cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson were absent from the voluntary workout. They were replaced by Tramon Williams and rookie Pat Lee.

"We have communication with both of them," coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. "Where they are in the years, their work in the OTAs will be limited, but they'll get their work in."

No Grant, either

Also absent — at least during drills — was unsigned star running back Ryan Grant. While Grant was seen at the practice facility, Brandon Jackson, DeShawn Wynn, Vernand Morency and Noah Herron handled most of the reps at halfback.

"It's obviously a business decision," McCarthy said of Grant being limited to conditioning work.

Harrell absent, too

As was reported Tuesday, defensive tackle Justin Harrell will not participate at these OTAs because of a back problem. After practice, McCarthy explained further by saying Harrell had minor back surgery.

"He's fine. He's doing well," McCarthy said. "He can probably be back sooner rather than later. Anytime a young player misses time, it's not to his benefit. But he'll be fine. We're probably being more cautious with" the roster limited to 80 players this year.

Weather or not ...

McCarthy said all OTA sessions would be held inside to provide a "constant" environment. That's bad news for railbirds, with limited space inside the Don Hutson Center for the three other open-to-the-public sessions on May 29, June 4 and June 11.

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