On the last day of minicamp, Pat Lee moved ahead of Will Blackmon as the fourth cornerback ...
"Yeah, and the next thing you know, the back problem came and oh ... it killed me," Lee said, answering the question before it had been asked. "It was a minor setback, but I should be all right."
Lee practiced for the first time on Sunday since suffering back spasms during the first week of training camp. The injury, which Lee said was a separate issue than the stiff back that sidelined him for a while last year, was a huge disappointment. Instead of being in position to earn a key role at the start of the season, Lee isn't even a lock to make the final roster.
"It felt great," Lee said about participating in Sunday's extremely low-impact practice. "I feel like I'm back with the team. After I got hurt, I felt like I wasn't with the team — because I wasn't doing anything or playing in the games."
Coach Mike McCarthy said he's "hopeful" that Lee will play against Tennessee. With Blackmon's thigh injury more severe than believed and with veteran starters Charles Woodson and Al Harris expected to play little — if at all — against Tennessee on Thursday, Lee has a golden opportunity to make up for lost time.
"We've still got practice," Lee said. "I can go from there, right?"
Kampman: Unhappiness overblown
The short answers and uneasy smile that marked Aaron Kampman's offseason are long gone.
With the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end settling in at outside linebacker and with the No. 1 defense performing at a high level through three weeks of the preseason, Kampman was all smiles in meeting the press after practice.
"That was a blown-up deal," he said. "The reality is, a story needs to be written and for whatever reason, it was focused on me. The reality is, that whole situation was focused on one person but there were 10 other guys making the transition. It was what it was."
McCarthy: My mistake on Flynn
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn did not suit up for the win at Arizona with a sprained throwing shoulder. In retrospect, that was a mistake, McCarthy said, because Flynn could have served in his usual role as the holder on kicks. With Ruvell Martin as the emergency holder — injured punter Durant Brooks had been the No. 2 holder — Mason Crosby missed two of his three field goals.
"I'll say this. I made an error," McCarthy said. "Matt Flynn should have been up holding in that game. I thought Ruvell Martin, that was his first opportunity in live action, and he got the bulk of the work (in practice), but the operation wasn't what it needed to be. Mason Crosby is kicking the ball as well as I've ever seen him in his career here. I think he has a top-notch leg the way he's driving the football on kickoffs. And the timing, to take that timing away from him in that game was my responsibility. I should have had Matt Flynn holding in that football game, and that's where we're at. We're going to make sure Matt and Mason spend the extra time, all the time needed, as we move forward."
Flynn was back at practice but all of his throws were lobs that covered no more than 5 or 10 yards. McCarthy said Flynn has "a chance" to face the Titans.
Linebackers Nick Barnett (knee) and Clay Matthews III (hamstring) are expected to make their preseason debuts against the Titans while Blackmon (bruised thigh) and running back Brandon Jackson (sprained ankle) are doubtful with injuries that are more significant than believed.
Meanwhile, McCarthy said receiver Greg Jennings is "feeling better" but will not play against Tennessee. He sustained a concussion early in the game at Arizona.
"It's scary anytime you have one of your players laying out there, no doubt, especially (because) Greg is a special player," McCarthy said. "He tested out OK on the sideline so I wasn't as concerned about it."
Defensive end Michael Montgomery suffered a broken hand against the Cardinals but will play Thursday with a his left hand in a club-like cast.
— Sunday's practice lasted one hour and was entirely a jog-through of plays. Nonetheless, the fans applauded at the end of practice — no doubt as a show of appreciation for the 3-0 start to the preseason.
— The final two practices of training camp are Monday (10:45 a.m., pads) and Tuesday (10:15 a.m., shells). After that, practice is closed to the public for the rest of the year.
— There were no lineup changes. The starting defensive ends remain Johnny Jolly and Cullen Jenkins, with B.J. Raji with the second unit. Matthews and Jeremy Thompson are the No. 2 outside linebackers, behind Aaron Kampman and Brady Poppinga.
— Jordy Nelson, on his 78-yard touchdown catch, which was set up by a play-action fake that got the cornerback and safety to bite: "Talking to A-Rod later, he said he told the line and back to really sell it. We saw Cover-4 off the bat and we were hoping they'd bite on it, and they did. They bit pretty good. That's why it was so wide open. ... I had big eyes when we lined up and saw it was Cover-4. That's what we want on that play. When they bit, I knew it was going to be a good one."
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.