Notebook: Grant in, KGB out

Also from Tuesday: Training camp ends; Jansen hasn't wrapped up long-snapper battle; tickets available for Thursday; injury update; and much more.

Halfback Ryan Grant will make his preseason debut on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans. It appears the same no longer can be said for defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

Grant, who missed the first three preseason games because of a hamstring injury, has looked good in practice. Barring any setbacks from Tuesday's practice, Grant will line up as the No. 1 halfback in the preseason finale.

"He just needs the reps, like everybody else," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's kept himself in great shape. He looks good. I know he probably wants to play and get some live action. But I feel very good about his conditioning. He's just like everybody else. He needs some reps to get ready for the season."

McCarthy said Grant will play with the No. 1 offense, which will participate in about 10 snaps.

Gbaja-Biamila, however, sat out Tuesday's practice after participating the last two days. McCarthy said Gbaja-Biamila's cranky knee acted up on him.

It's a snap

Rookie J.J. Jansen has been the only long snapper in camp for much of training camp, and he's been flawless in the games and almost perfect during practice.

He hasn't won the job, though.

"I would say to this point he's done a very good job," McCarthy said. "He has another opportunity with Tennessee. He's probably competing with other people in the league, but I think he's definitely taken advantage of his opportunity."

Punter Jon Ryan gave Jansen a hearty vote of confidence.

"I've been very impressed," Ryan said. "He's been consistent, he's doing a good job protection-wise and he's getting down the field well, so what more can you ask for, really?"

Injury report

Joining Gbaja-Biamila on the sideline was fellow defensive end Michael Montgomery (groin), who also won't play Thursday. There was nothing new among the other sidelined players: cornerbacks Charles Woodson (knee) and Al Harris (back), linebacker A.J. Hawk (chest), safeties Atari Bigby (ankle) and Charlie Peprah (hamstring), center Scott Wells (back), guard Josh Sitton (knee), receiver James Jones (knee) and defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (hamstring).

None of those 11 players are expected to play Thursday.

Back in action was linebacker Brandon Chillar, who missed the last two practices with a sore back. He was back with the No. 1 defense in Hawk's place on the weak side.

End of training camp

With the conclusion of Tuesday's practice, training camp is over. There will be a closed jog-through practice on Wednesday, followed by Thursday's 6 p.m. game at Lambeau Field.

Overall, McCarthy was pleased with what his team accomplished during 22 practices, one scrimmage and the first three preseason games.

"Our tempo and the energy that we had out here was far better than the first two years," McCarthy said. "I think the less practices helped us in that. I felt our football players were out here working to improve. They weren't out here trying to survive. They were thriving individually, and I think that's important and I think the schedule helped them."

One negative was the continued short weeks, triggered by starting the preseason on a Monday night. The following games were held on Saturday, Friday and, now, Thursday. That's dictated by television, though, so McCarthy said that's out of his control.

After Thursday's game, the players will get Friday through Sunday off — "it's not a vacation," McCarthy said — then start preparing for the Week 1 showdown against Minnesota on Monday.

Extra points

— Training camp started with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre being the major storylines. On Tuesday, Rodgers was one of the offensive players lining up on defense to give the backups a look during the jog-through portion of practice. Rodgers wore a blue jersey with the No. 4 on it.

— Again, Jordy Nelson and Will Blackmon were the No. 1 kickoff returners. Patrick Lee and Tramon Williams were the No. 2 pair.

— During that kickoff-return period, Mason Crosby tried a surprise onside kick. First-year cornerback Joe Porter wasn't paying attention and began retreating to set up the blocking, drawing the ire of special-teams coach Mike Stock.

— Fullback Korey Hall is the only offensive player on the No. 1 kickoff team. Hall, of course, played linebacker at Boise State.

— Rookie quarterback Matt Flynn made a pair of big-time passes while on the move, threading a pass between three defenders to 6-foot-8 tight end Joey Haynos, then hitting Taj Smith along the sideline.

— Fellow rookie quarterback Brian Brohm, on the other hand, was picked off by Blackmon and overthrew an open Tory Humphrey in the end zone.

— After a few good days of catching the ball, star receiver Donald Driver dropped a pass from Flynn, then was flagged for kicking the ball in frustration.

— Among players with at least six punts, Ryan ranks sixth with an average punt of 46.5 yards. His 72-yarder is the longest in the league.

"I've been feeling good and feeling comfortable," Ryan said. "Really, I've felt good all training camp. I feel like I've been hitting the ball well."

Tickets available

Tickets returned by the Titans remain available. Go to www.Packers.com, then click on tickets, then single-game tickets, for details.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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