What you need to know: Tuesday

We have a quick-hitting look at the minicamp practices, including injuries, special teams, red zone and a sweltering afternoon.

Some quick hits from Tuesday morning's practice:

Here and there

— Cornerbacks Charles Woodson (charity) and Will Blackmon (marriage) were back after missing Monday's practice. Otherwise, the injury list remained unchanged from Monday: offensive tackles Breno Giacomini (ankle) and Chad Clifton (knees and shoulders), safeties Atari Bigby (ankle) and Anthony Smith (groin), linebacker Nick Barnett (knee), defensive ends Cullen Jenkins (ankle) and Alfred Malone (wrist), center Scott Wells (shoulder), receiver Jamarko Simmons (back) and tight end Carson Butler (leg). On Tuesday afternoon, Justin Harrell was not on the field. Coach Mike McCarthy did not address reporters following either practice, so it's unclear why Harrell was absent after participating in the morning.

-- The Packers released wide receiver Lorne Sam, which explains his absence on Tuesday. Sam, a former receiver and quarterback at Texas-El Paso, was signed to the practice squad on Dec. 3. He missed a few practices this month with an abdominal strain.

Tuesday afternoon update

-- With temperatures pushing 95 degrees and not much of a breeze, McCarthy cut about 20 minutes out of practice, wrapping up at 4:27 p.m. (1 hour, 27 minutes) following a "last-second" field goal by Mason Crosby.

-- Fifth-round offensive tackle Jamon Meredith was driven from the practice field to the locker room following practice, presumably because of the heat.

-- Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins, who skipped most of the offseason workouts, was a step slow on a couple of passing plays, the difference between long completions and interceptions. The first was over the middle to tight end Donald Lee and the second was to Ruvell Martin.

-- Brian Brohm has made his share of poor decisions during minicamp, but he's also made some terrific throws. He threaded the needle in double coverage, only for Patrick Williams to drop the ball. Later, he scrambled out of pressure and threw a perfect ball to Kole Heckendorf, who made the catch at the sideline. Then, in a red-zone drill, he again found Heckendorf in the front corner of the end zone against double coverage from Desmond Bishop and Jarrett Bush.

-- The 2-minute drill continues to come up empty. Getting 1:22 to move the ball 65 yards for the winning touchdown, the No. 1 offense didn't even get a first down. James Jones dropped an easy pass, and Aaron Rodgers was picked off by Brandon Chillar, who made a great diving grab on a pass to Donald Lee. The No. 2 offense didn't get close to scoring the winning touchdown either, with its chance dying when Tramon Williams almost picked off a pass to Matt Flynn.

On the field

— Summer has arrived in Green Bay with a vengeance. After a spring of unseasonably cool weather, it was about 85 degrees and muggy with practically no breeze for the morning session, and the mercury is expected to reach 90 for the afternoon practice. Neither side of the ball seemed particularly sharp, with defensive line coach Mike Trgovac venting about missed assignments at one point. On more than one occasion, the Packers didn't have the right personnel on the field.

"Just got to continue to work through the heat. It's going to be like this in training camp. It's a good chance for us to go through some adversity, I guess, with the heat. Just push through it, tempo-wise," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

Rodgers, who lamented one overthrown pass to Donald Driver, who had gotten behind Aaron Rouse deep down the middle, said it's incumbent upon the veterans to lead when the conditions are unpleasant.

"I was trying to be aware of that and continue to jog between the drills and keep my level of enthusiasm and effort the same," he said. "It's important for myself as one of the team leaders; for the center, Jason Spitz; for Greg (Jennings) and Donald; for each person in a position of leadership within their position group, I think needs to really be that guy who continues to practice at the same pace, the same tempo, even when the conditions were like they were."

— Contrary to a published report that said Greg Jennings was "close" to reaching a new contract, Jennings that's not necessarily the case. He might be close; he might not be close. We'll have more on that topic later.

— During the special-teams segment, the Packers worked on kickoff returns and field goals.

Kickoff returns will have a new look, with the NFL having banned wedge blocking (groups of three or more players blocking in tandem). The No. 1 return had Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones, Korey Hall, Brandon Chillar and Ruvell Martin up front. We won't tell you how the rest of the group was aligned, but Desmond Bishop, Mike Montgomery, Tony Moll, Duke Preston and John Kuhn were lined up at varying depths behind the front line, with a sole kickoff returner.

Will Blackmon got the first chance as the returner, followed by Tramon Williams and Pat Lee.

Mason Crosby went 2-for-3 on 40-yard field goals. The defense called timeouts to "ice" Crosby before potential "game-winning" field goals, with Crosby making the first and missing the second to the left.

— During a blitz period, Bishop again has proven to be the most effective blitzer among the linebackers. Of course, he's going up against the No. 2 offensive line, so it's not a fair comparison to, say, A.J. Hawk. Nonetheless, it's noteworthy that he flushed the quarterback from the pocket twice in three plays.

— During a red-zone period, Brandon Jackson turned the corner for a 20-yard touchdown run around left end. Guard Josh Sitton clearly had a mittful of Montgomery's jersey, and cornerback Al Harris complained to the official about wearing shades.

— Also in red zone, Matt Flynn threw an easy 15-yard touchdown pass to Jennings, Harris jumped a short pass to Brett Swain for a juggling interception, and Brohm fired a pretty 7-yard touchdown pass to Kole Heckendorf, who was covered tightly in the back of the end zone by Tramon Williams. On the touchdown pass, Jarius Wynn had a good pass rush. Later, Brady Poppinga appeared to have a sack on a play in which Brohm scrambled out of the pocket.

— Coach Mike McCarthy was not scheduled to talk to reporters on Tuesday.

— We'll have more after Tuesday afternoon's practice, slated for 3 p.m. Wednesday's practice is set for 10:15 a.m., and that will be it until training camp begins on Aug. 1.


"The answer I'm supposed to say is I'm very excited about it. I tease Mike (McCarthy) all the time about, ‘It's a little hot today or it might rain, let's go inside.' Overall, it looks like a great facility for training camp. Hopefully, we'll still be able to win some of those battles when it gets in the teens to go inside."

— Aaron Rodgers, on the new Ray Nitschke practice field having heated coils to allow the team to practice outdoors when it's cold.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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