Notebook: Camp Practice No. 21

Ailing Matt Flynn doesn't throw; Packers release Duke Preston; plus much more from a long Tuesday practice.

For a second consecutive practice, backup quarterback Matt Flynn was relegated to the occasional handoff. If he doesn't throw the ball during Wednesday's practice, it's "probably safe" to assume that Flynn won't play against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, coach Mike McCarthy said after Tuesday's practice.

That left struggling Brian Brohm to take the backup reps on offense and all of the reps while on the scout team. Brohm, with no touchdowns and three interceptions in two preseason games, threw five interceptions on Tuesday. The first, against the scout defense, was a horrible pass into double coverage that went right into Jarrett Bush's bread basket. Atari Bigby and Charles Woodson dropped easy interceptions, as well.

Not that all of his passes were bad, though. On back-to-back plays against the scout defense, he hit JaRon Harris and Ruvell Martin for touchdowns. The pass to Martin was a beauty, taking advantage of Martin's height with a high pass to the corner of the end zone against Brandon Underwood.

Flynn's absence is felt on more than just the offense. After connecting on 25 consecutive field goals at practice, Mason Crosby went 5-for-7 on Tuesday. Flynn is the No. 1 holder, followed by punter Durant Brooks. With both of them injured, Ruvell Martin was the holder. Crosby missed from 34 yards (left) and 47 yards (right).

Along with Flynn and Brooks, cornerback Pat Lee (back), safeties Charlie Peprah (knee) and Aaron Rouse (hamstring), cornerback Will Blackmon (knee), outside linebacker Clay Matthews III (hamstring), inside linebacker Desmond Bishop (sprained toe) and defensive end Justin Harrell (back) did not practice.

Without Blackmon, Brett Swain was the No. 1 punt returner, followed by Nick Collins and Jordy Nelson, and Tyrell Sutton was the No. 1 kickoff returner, followed by Tramon Williams.

Returning with no restrictions was Jeremy Thompson, who is now at left outside linebacker behind Aaron Kampman. Thompson is joined on the second unit by seventh-round pick Brad Jones, who is on the right side. At the start of camp, Thompson and Matthews were battling to be the starter at right outside linebacker.

"Jeremy is projected to have a full week of practice and play in the game," McCarthy said. "He'll also have some opportunities both on special teams and defense. His performance will tell where he is. We don't have just 11 starters on defense. We did not build the packages with that in mind. There is always room for playmakers and Jeremy had a great spring. If he can get healthy and get back to where he was at the beginning of camp, he'll definitely be a contributor."

Roster moves

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Packers announced they had released center/guard Duke Preston and placed tight end Devin Frischknecht (broken leg) on season-ending injured reserve.

Preston, who started the final 11 games at center for the Buffalo Bills last season, never got close to challenging for the starting job at center or either of the guard positions. The transaction signals that the Packers are inclined to keep Scott Wells as the backup center.

The No. 2 line on Tuesday had Wells at center, T.J. Lang and Evan Dietrich-Smith at guards, and Tony Moll and Breno Giacomini at tackles.

Frischknecht, an undrafted free agent, suffered a broken tibia and fibula on Saturday.

Defense wins two-minute drill

The only starters vs. starters action of practice was the two-minute drill. The offense had to cover 60 yards in 1:27 but didn't get close to scoring the necessary touchdown.

After Aaron Rodgers threw two incompletions, he hit James Jones deep down the right sideline for 24 yards to the defense's 36. Rodgers was forced to throw the ball away against a strong blitz by Nick Barnett on first down, threw incomplete as Aaron Kampman blitzed off the blind side on second down, hit Donald Lee for a short gain on third down and threw incomplete deep down the middle to Lee on fourth down against tight coverage by Brandon Chillar.

Extra points

— Justin Harrell says retirement is not a consideration and vows he'll return to the playing field this season. We'll have more on this later in the week. Surgery isn't in the cards, either, according to the experts he and the team have sought. Medication and strengthening exercises are making a difference, he said.

— It would have been the play of the day, but Donald Driver dropped a perfect bomb from Rodgers against Joe Porter. Porter is one of the fastest guys on the team, and Driver got right past him.

— During a lengthy one-on-one pass-rushing drill, Stryker Sulak had the biggest upset by blowing inside of Chad Clifton for a sack.

— There are no night practices remaining. The 6:30 p.m. workout on Sunday, Aug. 30, has been moved to 3:30 p.m.

— Practice on Thursday will start at 10:15 a.m. Players will be in shells.

— Practice ran about two-and-a-half hours, with it starting outside before moving inside the Hutson Center because of thunderstorms.


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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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