Green Bay Packers: Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Coach Mike McCarthy should just go ahead and call off the competition for the Green Bay Packers' backup quarterback job and demand that general manager Ted Thompson keep both Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien on the roster.

Tolzien
Flynn
Flynn
Maybe Thompson will feel like he cannot afford to use three roster spots on quarterbacks. After all, he hasn’t done so since 2008 and even then it was only because he wasn’t ready to give up on second-round pick Brian Brohm.

But he also hasn’t had three worth keeping like he does now.

Given how close the competition is behind Aaron Rodgers, the safe thing to do would be to find a place for Flynn and Tolzien, especially after what the Packers went through last season when Rodgers broke his collarbone and missed seven starts.

The Packers need three quarterbacks to practice anyway and since Tolzien has run out of practice squad eligibility, it’s the roster or bust for both backups.

Rodgers won’t play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs so expect Flynn and Tolzien to get a long look. But even McCarthy would not go so far as to say it’s a winner-take-all situation for the backup job.

“Well, we’ll see,” McCarthy said after Friday’s preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. “I’m not going to make statements like that.”

Based on game production alone, Tolzien might have closed the gap on -- and possibly even overtaken -- Flynn. Against the Raiders, Tolzien threw the ball with the kind of zip that Flynn does not always show and completed 8 of 11 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. But he also was the beneficiary of a diving catch by Chris Harper for a 27-yard gain and a juggling catch by Alex Gillett for a 15-yard touchdown.

“I’ve been in games where all of those have been incompletions and tonight guys were making plays on the ball,” Tolzien said. “The line was protecting, so there were a lot of guys doing good things.”

Meanwhile, Flynn completed just 4 of 10 passes for 37 yards and had a screen pass go terribly wrong and turn into an interception.

However, Flynn was undone by scores of mental errors and fundamental mistakes.

“We had one decent drive, one when I was in there, and it was OK,” said Flynn of the 12-play, 34-yard drive that led to a field goal. “But we’ve got to clean up the mistakes. We’re having some missed opportunities.”

For the preseason, Tolzien has blown away Flynn in nearly every statistical category. His passer rating is 104.9 to Flynn’s 61.9. His completion percentage is 68.4 percent to Flynn’s 47.8. His yards per attempt is 8.9 to Flynn’s 5.7, which supports the argument that Tolzien has a stronger arm and therefore is better throwing the ball down the field.

But Flynn’s history cannot be discounted.

Tolzien did not produce a single victory in three appearances last season and after Flynn scratched out a tie after McCarthy pulled Tolzien against the Vikings, the veteran backup went 2-2 before Rodgers returned. He also spent his first four NFL seasons (2008-11) as Rodgers' primary backup before leaving in free agency.

And even if Flynn's numbers and production have not translated into preseason game success, his practice-field performance has not slipped.

"Every year, you've got to prove to the coaches that you deserve a spot and you've earned a spot," Flynn said. "I don't think they just give out spots or anything like that because of what you've done. But I feel really good about what I've done this camp. I think I've had one of, if not the, best camps that I've had since I've been a professional. That entails a lot of things besides just what's going on out there. I'm proud of what I've done. I don't have any regrets."

Maybe Thompson won't be able to part with his 10th linebacker or sixth receiver or fifth tight end, therefore making it impossible to keep three quarterbacks.

But it would be a mistake to let one of them walk away because if something happened to Rodgers again this season, they might need both of them again.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- B.J. Raji seems to think the arm injury he sustained in Friday's preseason game against the Oakland Raiders is not serious.

At least that's what he conveyed to Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

Raji
"He's pretty confident about it," McCarthy said after the Packers’ 31-21 victory.

But even McCarthy did not sound sure.

Raji is scheduled to undergo more tests on Saturday.

"That's why you do the tests," McCarthy said. "We'll see what the tests say tomorrow."

Raji played parts of the first two defensive series and then did not return. The nose tackle's last play was a 1-yard run by Raiders running back Darren McFadden, and Raji did not appear to injury himself on that play. He was replaced by second-year pro Josh Boyd.

Raji remained on the sideline for the remainder of the first half and had a long, protective sleeve on his right arm, which he did not use during the game. He had ice on his upper arm after the game.

If Raji's injury is serious, the Packers could turn to Ryan Pickett, who played for the Packers from 2006 to 2013. He was not re-signed this offseason and remains unemployed. So does Johnny Jolly, who returned to the Packers last season after serving a three-year NFL suspension, but Jolly plays defensive end and not nose tackle.

The only other injury the Packers announced was to rookie cornerback Demetri Goodson, who sustained a concussion.

Observation Deck: Green Bay Packers

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
11:35
PM ET
video
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers' preseason was significantly more productive this summer than last -- not that the Green Bay Packers quarterback needs it to get ready for the regular season.

But a year after he played just five series and 45 plays without scoring a touchdown in the preseason, Rodgers and the starting offense looked regular-season ready for the most part in Friday's 31-21 win over the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field.

In six series, Rodgers led three touchdown drives, throwing a pair of touchdown passes. The only black mark was a pair of three-and-out series in which there were offensive-line breakdowns. Although he completed just 9 of 20 passes, Rodgers threw for 139 yards and had touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson (12 yards) and Andrew Quarless (6 yards). There was one troubling stretch in the first quarter during which Rodgers got hit on four out of five dropbacks, including a sack by Raiders defensive end LaMarr Woodley.

With Rodgers almost certain not to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs, his preseason will consist of eight series that went for four touchdowns, one field goal and three punts. In two preseason games, Rodgers combined to complete 20 of 33 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. That's a passer rating of 116.6.

Here are some other thoughts on the Packers’ third preseason game of the year:
  • Maybe it was because he was playing against lesser competition in the fourth quarter, but Scott Tolzien was more productive than Matt Flynn. The Packers put up just three points in four possessions with Flynn, who completed just 4 of 10 passes for 37 yards with one interception (an 11.2 passer rating). Tolzien led a touchdown drive on his first possession, capping it with a 15-yard pass to Alex Gillett. Tolzien completed 8 of 11 passes for 107 yards and looked sharp doing so. The backup quarterback competition likely will go down to the end of the preseason.
  • The Packers' tight ends had all kinds of trouble blocking in the running game but made up for it in the passing game. On the first drive, rookie starter Richard Rodgers missed a block that led to a 1-yard loss for Eddie Lacy. However, on the next play, Rodgers ran a post route for a 32-yard completion. On a second-and-goal from the 3 in the second quarter, Quarless couldn't handle first-round pick Khalil Mack, who dumped James Starks for a 3-yard loss. On the next play, Rodgers found Quarless for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
  • Lacy played only one series for the second straight game but was productive once again. He carried six times for 36 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run. He has carried 11 times for 61 yards in the preseason.
  • DuJuan Harris, the No. 3 running back, does not look like he has lost any of his quickness or elusiveness after missing all of last season because of a knee injury. He rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries and had a pair of receptions for 42 yards.
  • Outside linebacker Julius Peppers has gotten better with each game. Playing almost the entire first half, Peppers recorded one sack and four tackles overall (including one for a loss on a running play).
  • After it gave up 60 yards on the Raiders' opening drive, the only yardage the Packers' No. 1 defense allowed over the next five series came on a pair of pass interference penalties on cornerback Sam Shields. Otherwise, the Raiders gained zero net yards on those drives.
  • Jayrone Elliott did it again. The undrafted rookie outside linebacker, who had three sacks in a four-play stretch the previous week against the Rams, got another one in the third quarter when he beat Raiders backup left tackle Jack Cornell, an undrafted free agent in 2012. He also batted down a pass.
  • The only injury announced was to nose tackle B.J. Raji, who left with an arm injury in the first quarter. Raji remained on the sideline for the rest of the first half but did not return to the game. The Packers got a scare when center JC Tretter appeared to injure his knee, but after getting checked out by Dr. Pat McKenzie, he returned to the game without missing a play.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – After Casey Hayward dropped out of practice on Tuesday, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said they were just being smart with their cornerback, given his hamstring problems of a year ago.

Three days later, Hayward remains out. He will not play in Friday's preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.

Hayward had not missed any practice time this summer before Tuesday. Last season, he played in only three games because of recurring hamstring problems that first popped up before training camp opened.

Here's the full list of Packers who will not play Friday:

W2W4: Green Bay Packers

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
12:00
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers (1-1) play their first of two home preseason games on Friday against the Oakland Raiders (1-1). It will be nationally televised on CBS.

Here are three things to watch:

1.Rodgers' last tuneup: In the third preseason game last year, coach Mike McCarthy pulled quarterback Aaron Rodgers after one series -- a 10-play drive on which Rodgers completed 4 of 7 passes for 41 yards before Mason Crosby kicked a 38-yard field goal. A year earlier, Rodgers played the entire first half in preseason game No. 3. All McCarthy would say this year is that Rodgers will play more than one series against the Raiders. After sitting out the preseason opener, Rodgers played two series last Saturday at St. Louis and put up 10 points while completing 11 of 13 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. Rodgers almost certainly won't play in next week's preseason finale against Kansas City so this will be his final tuneup before the season opener at Seattle on Sept. 4.

2. Rookie encores: Perhaps the biggest standouts against the Rams were rookies Jeff Janis and Jayrone Elliott. Janis, a seventh-round pick, caught one pass in his preseason debut, but it was a 34-yard touchdown on which he caught a short crossing route and showed off his 4.42-second 40-yard dash speed to outrun the St. Louis secondary. Meanwhile, Elliott, an undrafted free agent outside linebacker, had three sacks in a four-play stretch. Both earned increased playing time in practice this week and likely will get more opportunities to prove themselves against the Raiders.

3. Ex-Packers return: Two years ago, the Packers cut veteran safety Charles Woodson even after he offered to take a pay cut. This past offseason, they let veteran receiver James Jones walk in free agency. Both ended up with the Raiders. Granted, it's just a preseason game, but it will be interesting to see how much they have left in the tank, especially in Woodson's case. The Packers struggled to replace his playmaking in the back end of their defense last season and were forced to use their first-round pick this year to draft a safety.
Lacy
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It did not take Eddie Lacy long to enter into the NFL's consciousness.

By his fourth game as a pro last season, the Green Bay Packers running back had posted his first 100-yard game. By season's end, he was one of the league's most recognizable – and productive – running backs.

And 1,178 rushing yards later, he finds himself well within the top 100 offensive players in ESPN's #NFLRank project. When the next set of 10 players was unveiled on Friday, there was Lacy at No. 60.

It was Lacy's hard-charging running style that perhaps made him so popular with fans and respected by opposing defenses. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Lacy had the fourth-most yards after contact in the NFL last season with 531. He also was the only rookie with more than 1,000 rushing yards and at least 10 touchdowns in 2013.

The top-50 players on each side of the ball will be announced next week.

Here's a look at the Packers in the rankings so far:

Defense
No. 95: CB Sam Shields
No. 81: DT B.J. Raji

Offense
No. 77: G Josh Sitton
No. 66: WR Randall Cobb
No. 60: RB Eddie Lacy
Each week, I will ask for questions via Twitter with the hashtag #PackersMail. Feel free to submit yours at any point during the week.

Demovsky: Jayrone Elliott looked good from the beginning of training camp, but is he three-sacks-in-four-plays good? Of course not. But who is? I asked a scout who watched tape of the game if Elliott was that good or if Rams tackle Sean Hooey was that bad? The scout said: "Both." The Packers will want to see Elliott against better competition, and they still have two preseason games to do so. Keep an eye on No. 91 tonight against the Raiders and next week against the Chiefs and also note who he's going against, and then we'll have a better idea what to make of him. But he has certainly gotten everyone's attention. Demovsky: After what Jeff Janis put on film in St. Louis, there's no way the Packers can cut him and hope to slide him through to the practice squad. He'd get snatched up on waivers in a heartbeat. The one thing you can't teach is speed, and the rookie seventh-round pick has it. He's a lock for the roster after that 34-yard touchdown catch and run against the Rams. Demovsky: He needs to hope the Packers have room for a sixth receiver. It's as simple as that. If the Packers keep six receivers, Kevin Dorsey will be the last one they keep. If they keep only five, Dorsey will be out. He has been showing up more often on the No. 1 special teams units, which also is a good sign. He could have helped himself by catching that ball along the sideline against the Rams, but it might come down to how many quarterbacks the Packers keep. If they keep three, then they might not be able to find room for a sixth receiver. Demovsky: I'm not sure one has anything to do with the other. If the Packers' doctors would clear Jermichael Finley to play football again following his neck injury, I think they would bring him back. But they haven't, so it's a moot point. Demovsky: It's not unusual for a defensive lineman to be a little slower to make an impact. Look at Josh Boyd last season. He did next to nothing in training camp as a rookie last summer and barely got on the field the first half of the season. But by the end of the year, he was getting regular snaps and making an impact. The same could happen for Khyri Thornton. It's a big adjustment going against NFL offensive linemen. Give him some time. 

Packers Camp Report: Day 18

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
2:30
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Green Bay Packers training camp:
  • Fans and reporters got their first look at what coach Mike McCarthy's new day-before-a-game practice looks like under his revamped weekly schedule. The session lasted just 58 minutes and featured 54 plays from scrimmage during designated 11-on-11 team periods. It also included a special teams period and individual drills. The entire practice was conducted without pads or shells -- just helmets, jerseys and shorts. McCarthy plans to continue this practice all season. It's the first time in his nine years as head coach that the Packers have practiced the day before a game. In the past, the final session wrapped up about 48 hours before kickoff. The six periods in the practice were: stretching, ball drills, last eight plays of the game, no-huddle, game situations and a 30-minute team period that was cut short with 8:32 still left on the clock.
  • During the game-situations period, a scenario had the Packers trailing 26-24 with 22 seconds left on third-and-7 at the defense's 35-yard line. After Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass, Mason Crosby came on for a 53-yard field goal that he missed wide left. In all, Crosby was just 2-of-4 in the period. His other miss was from 38 yards wide left. He was good from 33 and 43 yards. After starting camp by making 28 of his first 30 kicks (93.3 percent), Crosby has made 17 of his past 22 (77.3 percent) in practice, giving him a camp-long mark of 45-for-52 (86.5 percent). He also has made all three of his field goals in preseason games.
  • Neither McCarthy nor the players were available to the media after practice, so there were no injury updates. However, cornerback Casey Hayward did not participate for the second straight session. After sitting out Tuesday's practice, a day off on Wednesday apparently was not enough to get him back on the field. All McCarthy has said about Hayward is that the team was being smart with him, given his past injury history. Hayward missed all but three games last season because of recurring hamstring problems.
  • Others who did not practice and appear unlikely to play on Friday against the Oakland Raiders were: running back Rajion Neal (knee), center Jordan McCray (shoulder), linebacker Joe Thomas (knee), guard/tackle Don Barclay (knee), receiver Jared Abbrederis (knee), tight end Brandon Bostick (lower leg) and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (hamstring).
  • Rookie tight end Colt Lyerla, who was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday, had his salary officially reduced to $303,000, according to ESPN Stats & Information salary data. Had Lyela made the team, his salary would have been $420,000, but he had what was called a split salary in his contract that calls for his pay to be reduced in the event he landed on injured reserve. That is common among undrafted rookie contracts.
  • After Friday's game against the Raiders (7 p.m. local time at Lambeau Field), there will be only be only two more training camp practices open to the public. They are Monday (11:45 a.m.) and Wednesday (10:15 a.m.)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- How good do the voters in ESPN’s #NFLRank feel about Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb?

How's this for a sign: He missed 10 games last season yet slipped only two spots from last year. In our second annual rankings, Cobb checked in at No. 66 among all NFL offensive players when Nos. 61-70 were revealed on Thursday.

Perhaps the lingering memory of Cobb was his game-winning, NFC North-winning 48-yard touchdown catch on fourth down with 46 seconds left in the regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears. It came in Cobb's first game back after breaking his tibia and landing on the temporary injured reserve list.

Cobb was on his way to a big season before his injury.

He has become one of Aaron Rodgers' most reliable receivers. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cobb caught 78 percent of his targets in 2012, second best among wide receivers (Brandon Stokley, 79 percent) that season.

Cobb is the fourth Packers player to make one of the lists. Nos. 51-60 will be revealed on Friday, followed by the rest next week.

Here's a look at the Packers in the rankings so far:

Defense
No. 95: CB Sam Shields
No. 81: DT B.J. Raji

Offense
No. 77: G Josh Sitton
No. 66: WR Randall Cobb
GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a two-series appearance in last Saturday's preseason game at St. Louis, several things stood out from the Green Bay Packers’ starting offense.

Most marveled over quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who had only two incompletions in 13 attempts with 128 yards and one touchdown pass (plus another that was recalled by a penalty); or Eddie Lacy, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry; or receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, who each caught touchdown passes (although Nelson's was the one wiped out); or the precision of the no-huddle offense.

Perhaps what jumped off the film the most was the play of the right tackle.

Bulaga
In 24 snaps against the Rams, Bryan Bulaga did not allow a sack, hit or hurry, according to ProFootballFocus.com. It was exactly the same in an eight-snap appearance in the previous week’s preseason opener at Tennessee.

That's an impressive stat line for any NFL tackle, let alone one who went 634 days between game appearances. Before Bulaga played in the preseason opener at Tennessee, his last game came on Nov. 4, 2012, when his season ended because of a hip injury. He never made it to the 2013 preseason opener because of a knee injury that required ACL reconstruction last year.

"You've got a darn good football player back and a guy that works extremely hard, is very professional -- just his presence out there, he's a strong man that moves very well," said Packers offensive line coach James Campen, when asked about Bulaga's impact on the offense. "It obviously is a plus having him out there."

And Bulaga, 25, does not even feel like he's quite back in form yet. He has had to adjust to playing right tackle again after moving to the left side last offseason and get in sync with right guard T.J. Lang after lining up next to Josh Sitton for most of his career.

Three times in an answer to one question, Bulaga talked about the need to get his confidence back, something that he said remains a work in progress.

"I'm getting more and more comfortable, especially every game rep I get," Bulaga said.

The best part, in Bulaga’s mind, is that he has been able to work on that every day in practice. It was his goal while he rehabbed his knee and trained throughout last season to come to training camp without limitations. To do so, he rebuilt his physique, first by losing weight, and then building back up to his playing weight of between 315 and 320 pounds.

Before his ACL tear, Bulaga was on track to becoming one of the NFC's top tackles.

How close is the fifth-year pro to being that again?

"That's a long time ago; it's hard to say that," Campen said. "What I do know is since Day 1 that we put the pads on, as we've progressed, he's gotten better and better."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If the Seattle Seahawks think they have the Green Bay Packers' no-huddle offense figured out from watching Aaron Rodgers run it last Saturday at the St. Louis Rams, they should think again.

According to several Packers' players and coaches, the hand signals they are using in the preseason are nothing like what they will use to combat the noise when the regular season opens in the Pacific Northwest on Sept. 4.

"It's really geared towards our first game," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "So you don't want to show a whole lot. I think our players, particularly, on offense have done a great job with communication. No-huddle is a big part of what we do. To have a set of signals for preseason and a whole different set for the regular season, this is really the first year we've done that. So, we just have a lot more going on."

The reason for the different hand signals is two-fold:

1. The Packers want to keep the Seahawks guessing.

2. They believe several of the players they cut in their roster reduction at the end of camp may be picked up by other teams on their schedule.

"It's tough, especially when you play in a no-huddle situation," quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt said. "You have 90 guys in camp but 53 are going to be around so, obviously, some people aren't going to be here. You try to have the second group of signals ready to go. Use the ones we use in camp then say, 'All right, guys, let's wipe the slate and here's the new set.' That's part of dealing with crowd noise is having the ability to change signals. Maybe one week the signal is 'this,' and the next week the same signal becomes the double move off of that. Just try to keep the defense guessing."

While much of the talk this offseason has been about what new wrinkles defensive coordinator Dom Capers may throw at the Seahawks that they have never seen from the Packers before, there's also plenty McCarthy wants to be a surprise from Rodgers & Co. That's why at the start of practice, when the defense is outside going through its pre-practice walk-through, the offense works behind the closed doors of the Don Hutson Center.

"It's the same offense; it's just different plays," receiver Jordy Nelson said. "It's nothing difficult. It's just plays that, as I said, us older guys have seen every play in the book. There's just plays that we'll probably run more throughout the season than what we'll run in the preseason. Preseason games are very vanilla and watered down. We're just getting more into those plays that might be deeper in the playbook. It's nothing difficult."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Josh Sitton is no longer an unknown commodity around the NFL.

Last season, the Green Bay Packers left guard was named to the Associated Press' All-Pro second team.

And now the seventh-year veteran has cracked the ESPN #NFLRank project, which picks the top 100 players on each side of the ball. When players 71-80 were revealed on Wednesday, Sitton popped up at No. 77.

He's the third Packers’ player to show up in the rankings so far, but the first on the offensive side of the ball.

ESPN Stats & Information has come up with nuggets about each player selected and had this to say about Sitton:

"Sitton and the Packers' offensive line allowed their running game to average 2.9 yards before contact per rush last season, fifth best in the NFL. Sitton played more offensive snaps than any other Packer last season.”

Packers in the rankings so far:

Defense
No. 95: CB Sam Shields
No. 81: DT B.J. Raji

Offense
No. 77: G Josh Sitton
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Nearly a month into training camp, it is apparent that at least two healthy members of the Green Bay Packers' recent draft class won't be able to help them much -- if at all -- this season.

So what does general manager Ted Thompson do with linebacker Carl Bradford and cornerback Demetri Goodson?

He might be willing to hang onto the fourth- and sixth-round picks, respectively, anyway.

When asked this week whether he's more inclined to give a draft pick a little longer to develop than he would a player off the street, Thompson admitted: "Maybe a smidgen."

Thompson has cut ties with only one fourth-pick pick as a rookie, receiver Cory Rodgers in 2006, and he has kept 11 of his 14 sixth-round picks as rookies.

However, a realistic look at the depth chart at both positions would indicate that Bradford might be no better than the eighth outside linebacker on the roster. The Packers likely won't keep more than 10 linebackers combined counting both inside and outside backers. It goes without saying that Bradford ranks behind Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry. Based on playing time, Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer also rank ahead of him. And based on production, undrafted rookies Jayrone Elliott and Adrian Hubbard might be as well.

"I believe in the kid," Packers linebackers coach Winston Moss said Tuesday. "He works hard. He's a great guy. He has a skill set that can help us out. It's only a matter of time before he shows up, and what you're going to anticipate seeing is a guy that can play the run very, very well and a guy that can be an effort-determined rusher to get to the passer. I think that's going to show up before it's all over."

From the moment the Packers drafted Bradford at No. 121 overall out of Arizona State, it seemed he might be better suited to play inside linebacker. At 6-foot-1 and 252 pounds, he is the shortest outside linebacker on the roster and the second lightest among those he's competing against for a spot.

To date, however, Bradford has not taken a single snap at inside linebacker.

Still, that could end up being his eventual position. Moss would not rule it out.

"I can't judge what position he's going to be playing, I'll leave it at that," Moss said. "He's working hard. I think we've done well in the past being able to convert outside backers to the inside, but we'll see what happens."

And then there's Goodson, who played three years of college basketball at Gonzaga before he transferred to Baylor to play football. The Packers picked him at No. 197 overall knowing full well that he will need time to develop, but he might be further away than they thought.

"He has a ways to go," cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said. "He's still a young player. We're in the work phase with him, teaching him the defense, teaching him just the base parts of it."

There are at least five cornerbacks -- Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Davon House and Jarrett Bush -- ahead of Goodson. It's possible a sixth, Jumal Rolle, might be, too.

"But the great thing is we don't need him to play right now," Whitt said. "He has time to grow."

Still, Thompson will have to decide whether he can afford to let players develop while taking up a spot on the 53-man roster. Other than sixth-round pick Jared Abbrederis, the receiver who will be placed on injured reserve because of his knee injury, the Packers likely will keep the rest of their draft picks on the roster.

It might be a risk to cut Bradford or Goodson with the hope of getting them back on the practice squad. The other 31 teams would have a chance to put in a waiver claim before the Packers could do so.

"Most of the people outside this building are going to care if we win or lose," Thompson said. "So we better keep the best ones."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Six months ago, former Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins was holding out hope of returning to the NFL.

On Tuesday, he officially gave up the dream.

Collins, who turned 31 last Saturday, announced his retirement from the NFL on Twitter.



He last played in an NFL game in Week 2 of the 2011 season, when he sustained a neck injury that required surgery to fuse his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae. The Packers released him on April 25, 2012, after their doctors would not clear him.

Collins was 28 at the time of his injury and was coming off his third straight Pro Bowl appearance.

Earlier this year, Collins tweeted that he was "ready for action" and that any team "looking for a top notch safety this kid is ready to dominate."

Then in a Feb. 5 interview with ESPN.com, Collins confirmed his interest in returning to the NFL.

"I'm optimistic about it," Collins said at the time. "My whole purpose for sending that tweet out is to just let teams know that if they're willing to take a chance, I'm open to it."

Collins, a former second-round pick, never got another chance to play and perhaps his decision to announce his retirement was to provide some closure for him and his family.

Last January, Collins returned to Lambeau Field for the Packers’ playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers and was introduced to a loud ovation.

Packers Camp Report: Day 17

August, 19, 2014
Aug 19
7:45
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Green Bay Packers training camp:
  • Most people think the Packers signed Julius Peppers to rush the quarterback, and they did. But don't underestimate his worth to the run defense. That was on display during Tuesday's full-pads practice during the half-line running drill. Peppers tossed aside fullback Ina Liaina like a ragdoll and almost immediately was in the backfield, where he hogtied running back Michael Hill for a loss. On the next snap, he beat tackle John Fullington to force the ball carrier to turn inside and into traffic. Peppers also had a tackle for loss in Saturday’s preseason game against the Rams.
  • In a sign that undrafted rookie outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott has moved up the depth chart after his three-sack performance against the Rams, he was on the No. 1 punt team in practice on Tuesday. He lined up at right tackle, a spot that had been occupied by tight end Brandon Bostick before his injury. That’s the first time Elliott has appeared on a top special teams unit. Elliott also was working outside with the regular defense during the early portion of practice. In the past, he had been relegated to scout-team work inside the Hutson Center during that time.
  • Bostick had no clearer of an idea about whether he can return from his leg injury in time for the season opener at Seattle on Sept. 4 than coach Mike McCarthy did a day earlier. However, Bostick on Tuesday confirmed that his injury is to his right leg (although he declined to give specifics other than to say it will not require surgery) and had nothing to do with his broken foot that ended his 2013 season. That injury was to his left foot, which required surgery to place a screw in the broken bone. "I still have time before the season starts," Bostick said. "So hopefully I'll be pretty good."
  • Mason Crosby made 5 of 6 field goals with his only miss from 44 yards (wide right). He was good from 33, 38, 42, 46 and 53 yards to run his training camp-long mark to 43-of-48 (89.6 percent). He is 3-for-3 in preseason games.
  • For the first time all camp, rookie center Corey Linsley took some team reps at guard during team periods. If Linsley is going to make the team, which looks likely, the fifth-round pick will need to show he can back up more than one position in order to be active on game day.
  • Cornerback Casey Hayward, who missed all but three games last season because of a hamstring injury but has participated fully in training camp this year, was limited on Tuesday. McCarthy said it was precautionary "just because of his history." He said guard T.J. Lang banged his shoulder late in the two hour and 16-minute practice. Otherwise, there were no new injuries.
  • There is no practice on Wednesday but the players will have their regular schedule of meetings, film work and walk-through sessions at Lambeau Field. The next open practice is Thursday at 10:30 a.m. local time.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider