NFL Nation: Justin Perillo

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- As we head toward the NFL scouting combine, which begins later this week in Indianapolis, it's time to look at the Green Bay Packers' needs by position this offseason and which prospects general manager Ted Thompson might be taking a closer look at during workouts and interviews.

Here are the previous installments:

Feb 9: Defensive line

Feb 10: Linebackers

Feb. 11: Cornerbacks

Feb. 12: Safeties

Feb 13: Quarterbacks

Monday: Running backs

Next up, Receivers/tight ends:

Why the Packers might need help: Even if the Packers re-sign Randall Cobb, who is seeking a deal that averages at least $9 million per season, the Packers will still have depth issues to address at this position. Behind Cobb and Jordy Nelson, the next-best receiver is Davante Adams, the former second-round pick who had an up-and-down rookie season as the No. 3 receiver. It's possible the Packers won't even offer last year's No. 4 receiver, Jarrett Boykin, a restricted-free-agent tender. Two other draft picks from last season, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis, are still unknowns. Abbrederis spent all of last season on injured reserve after a training-camp knee injury, while Janis spent the entire season on the roster but rarely played. He was inactive for all but three games.

At tight end, the Packers like what last year's third-round pick, Richard Rodgers, showed late in the season, when he became more involved in the offense, but it's still too early to say whether he'll be the playmaker that Jermichael Finley was before his neck injury. Behind Rodgers and Andrew Quarless, the Packers are thin. Once a promising prospect, Brandon Bostick was released on Monday, a month after he botched the onside kick recovery in the NFC Championship Game. They also have undrafted rookie Justin Perillo who was promoted from the practice squad.

WRs/TEs the Packers should be watching: As many as a half-dozen receivers could come off the board in the first round. Thompson, however, loves to take receivers in the second round (Adams, Cobb, Nelson, Greg Jennings all were second-round picks) or third round (James Jones). So he could be keeping an eye on Oklahoma's Dorial Green-Beckham, Arizona State's Jaelen Strong, Auburn's Sammie Coates, Ohio State's Devin Smith and Duke's Jamison Crowder.

At tight end, it's possible the best one in the class, Minnesota’s Maxx Williams, will be available when the Packers pick at No. 30.

Draft priority (low, medium or high): Medium. Their need for another pass-catcher (whether at receiver or tight end) would jump to high if they were unable to re-sign Cobb.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the first time all season, the Green Bay Packers will have all three quarterbacks active.

The reason?

Aaron Rodgers' calf injury.

According to a source, the Packers are going into Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions with "a little" concern about the injury their starting quarterback sustained in last week's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Friday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said during his final media availability of the week: "I don't have any concerns today, just based off of the conversation with Aaron and how he's feeling."

However, the Packers still had one more practice Saturday morning to complete their preparations for the NFC North title game against the Lions. Rodgers was listed as probable on Friday's injury report and was a limited participant in practice all week.

Rodgers also took the unusual step of warming up on the field about two hours before the game Sunday. Rodgers does not typically come out that early, but he played catch with backup Matt Flynn.


This is the first time No. 3 quarterback Scott Tolzien has been active for a game this season. He took the place of backup running back DuJuan Harris, who has been the primary kickoff returner this season. However, McCarthy said this week that he's looking for a spark in the return game, which could mean he will use starting receiver Randall Cobb in that role.

Here's the Packers’ inactive list for Sunday:

Packers' starting O-line intact vs. Bucs

December, 21, 2014
12/21/14
12:00
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TAMPA, Fla. -- For the 14th time in 15 games this season, the Green Bay Packers will have their preferred starting offensive line intact to begin a game.

That was assured when right tackle Bryan Bulaga was cleared to return from the concussion he sustained last Sunday at the Buffalo Bills. Bulaga, who was upgraded from questionable to probable on Saturday, will start Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bulaga is the only starter on the offensive line to miss a game this season. The Packers played without him in Week 2 against the New York Jets because of the knee injury he sustained in the season opener. Since he returned in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions, the Packers have started the same five offensive linemen in every game.

"This is the best offensive line we've had in my time here," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said this week. "We felt that coming out in the spring. All the good teams, all the good offensive, defensive, special-team units and particular positions are the ones that practice together and play together each and every week are always the best ones. This is a very cohesive offensive line, both on and off the field. They get along. It's a smart bunch. They help each other."

There was only one injured player, cornerback Davon House (shoulder), among the Packers' inactives. Here's the full list:
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The issue wasn't necessarily whether Eddie Lacy would be active -- that seemed like a safe bet after what coach Mike McCarthy said Friday -- but rather how effective the banged-up Green Bay Packers running back can be Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Lacy was indeed declared active. The Packers announced no starting lineup changes, which means they're planning to go with Lacy from the start after he was limited all week in practice because of the hip injury he sustained in the fourth quarter of Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons. Lacy could not finish that game.

Still, it might not be reasonable to expect Lacy to play the workhorse role against the Bills. And he might not need to after the performance James Starks put together against the Falcons. Starks matched his career-long run of 41 yards and finished with a season-high 75 yards on 10 carries.

"We'll see how the game goes, but I feel very comfortable going with Eddie and James," McCarthy said Friday.

Safety Chris Banjo, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday after linebacker Jamari Lattimore was placed on injured reserve because of an ankle injury, also is active Sunday. Banjo played in all 16 games last season, mostly on special teams.

The only injured Packers player on the inactive list was cornerback Davon House (shoulder). The rest were healthy scratches.

Here's the full inactive list for the Packers:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers' secondary will be at full strength for "Monday Night Football."

Shields
Cornerback Sam Shields passed the concussion protocol and will play against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field.

Shields, who sustained a concussion early in last Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, did not practice all week but on Saturday coach Mike McCarthy seemed optimistic that Shields had a chance to be cleared.

The Packers made a roster move on Monday, when they placed defensive tackle Luther Robinson on injured reserve and signed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston. However, Gaston, a rookie from Purdue who was signed off the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad, was declared inactive.

Here's the full inactive list for the Packers:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers' defense will be back at full strength for Sunday's showdown with the New England Patriots.

And they'll also have their top special teams player.

Bush
Perry
Outside linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder) and core special teamer Jarrett Bush (groin) are both active after missing last Sunday's game at the Minnesota Vikings.

Perry moved into the starting right outside linebacker position when Clay Matthews moved to the inside spot following the Packers' bye in Week 9. Mike Neal started at outside linebacker against the Vikings, but Perry is expected to return to that role.

Both Perry and Bush were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Receiver Davante Adams, who was added to the injury report on Thursday after he got his heel stepped on in practice, also is active.

All seven of the Packers' inactives were healthy scratches.

Here's the full list:

Packers Camp Report: Day 16

August, 18, 2014
8/18/14
9:30
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Green Bay Packers training camp:
  • Maybe Monday will be remembered as the day the light went on for first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. After going 15 straight practices without an interception, the rookie safety picked off two passes during a one-hour and 29-minute session without pads inside the Don Hutson Center. Clinton-Dix's first pick came off fourth-string quarterback Chase Rettig, who badly overthrew receiver Chris Harper. His second one was a little more impressive because it came on the second play of the two-minute drill by the starting offense. Running back James Starks let a dump-off pass from Aaron Rodgers ricochet off his hands and Clinton-Dix plucked it out of the air. You could argue that both interceptions were gift-wrapped to him, but at least he made a couple of plays. "I thought it was great to actually touch the ball again after a while, so that felt good," Clinton-Dix said.
  • The defense won both two-minute drills, although Matt Flynn went a little longer with the No. 2 offense than Rodgers' two-plays-and-out possession. Flynn directed an eight-play drive that ended on fourth-and-10 from the defense's 21-yard line. On the last play, safety Chris Banjo picked off a pass that went off the outstretched hands of tight end Justin Perillo.
  • Other than the two-minute period, it was a stellar day by both Flynn and Scott Tolzien, who remain in a competition for the backup job. Flynn's best throw was on a deep corner route to Alex Gillett. He placed the ball perfectly out of the reach of cornerback Jarrett Bush. Tolzien had a couple of noteworthy throws, a go route down the right sideline that Myles White caught without breaking stride and a 30-yard corner route to Perillo over Clinton-Dix. "I thought they had sharp practices," coach Mike McCarthy said of Flynn and Tolzien. "It was our best tempo of the year. We were done extremely early in every period and the takeaways by the defense in the two-minute drill obviously added to that, so I was very pleased with the energy and the tempo. I think it's going to be a lot of good video. So, I thought both of those guys did a lot of good things."
  • The only new injury was to tight end Brandon Bostick (lower leg). He is expected to miss the rest of the preseason. Others who did not practice were: running back Rajion Neal (knee), tight end Colt Lyerla (knee), offensive lineman Don Barclay (knee), receiver Jared Abbrederis (knee) and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (hamstring). McCarthy would not say whether Abbrederis or Barclay had their ACL reconstruction surgeries yet. Both will eventually be placed on injured reserve.
  • For the first time all camp, rain forced practice inside the Don Hutson Center. That means there are only four open practices left in training camp. The next one is Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. local time.

Packers Camp Report: Day 3

July, 28, 2014
7/28/14
6:30
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Green Bay Packers training camp:


  • Lest you forgot about Sean Richardson when it came time to talk about playing time at the safety position, the third-year pro reminded everyone of his potential on Monday. With the pads on for the first time, Richardson made a play that has rarely been replicated by a Packers safety since the days of Nick Collins or Charles Woodson. During a team blitz period, Aaron Rodgers fired a pass over the middle to Jordy Nelson but Richardson jumped in and snatched the ball away from Nelson for an interception.
  • For the first padded practice of camp, the temperature on Monday morning when things kicked off at 8:20 a.m. local time was just 56 degrees. An hour into the practice, it was not yet 60 degrees, but the Packers took one of their TV timeout regeneration breaks and followed it with one short period followed by another water break. Still, when asked whether it was fun to put the pads on, veteran guard Josh Sitton said, "I mean, fun is a little strong." The practice lasted 2 hours, 26 minutes – or about 10 minutes longer than the non-padded practices each of the first two days.
  • Nose tackle B.J. Raji got off to a strong start in the first one-on-one pass-rushing drill. He won all three of his reps. Of course, when someone wins, it means someone else looked bad. Twice, Raji beat JC Tretter, who is trying to lock down the starting center job. Raji beat Tretter with his quickness on one turn and then overpowered him on another. Tackle Bryan Bulaga also looked good in his first turns since blowing out his knee last camp. He won all three of his reps, including one at left tackle against Clay Matthews.
  • In other odds and ends from practice: Cornerback Davon House had a strip-sack of Matt Flynn and recovered the fumble during the team blitz period. … If you're looking for an undrafted rookie to watch, keep an eye on inside linebacker Joe Thomas of South Carolina State. He's a bit undersized (6-1, 227) but is around the ball often. … In what could be a bad sign for undrafted rookie tight end Colt Lyerla, he was relegated to the scout team that worked against the defense at the start of practice while the majority of the offensive players, including fellow undrafted rookie tight end Justin Perillo, practiced inside the Hutson Center at the start of the session.
  • Outside linebacker Mike Neal said he could be cleared to practice as soon as Wednesday. He remains on the PUP list with a core muscle injury but is scheduled to be examined on Tuesday. He said he reported to camp lighter than ever, at 263 pounds. He played last season at 275, which is about 25 pounds lighter than he was is first three seasons, when he played defensive end.
  • In addition to Neal, others who remained out were: Nick Perry (foot, knee), Jamari Lattimore (illness), Jeff Janis (illness), Letroy Guion (hamstring), and Jerel Worthy (back). Janis made an appearance at practice for the first time in camp.
  • The Packers do not practice on Tuesday. They return to the field on Wednesday at 8:20 a.m. local time.

Packers Camp Report: Day 2

July, 27, 2014
7/27/14
7:45
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Green Bay Packers' training camp:
  • One day after Matt Flynn got the bulk of the work as the No. 2 quarterback, Sunday was Scott Tolzien's turn. He got the call in the no-huddle period and completed 3-of-5 passes, including a 12-yarder to tight end Brandon Bostick on third-and-7 to keep the drive going. His arm strength was apparent when he zipped a 9-yard out to rookie receiver Davante Adams on the next play. The drive ended four plays later when he missed receiver Alex Gillett in the flat on third-and-4. His only other incompletion was on a pass that appeared to be tipped near the line of scrimmage. The backup quarterback snaps have been split equally between Flynn and Tolzien the first two days. Although he played in three games last season (including two starts), this is Tolzien's first chance to go through an offseason with the Packers after being signed to the practice squad last September. "Work ethic, he knocks it out of the park, and you're seeing the benefits of that," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I think they're both very comfortable not only with the people they're working with but what we're asking them to do."
  • Adams, the Packers' second-round draft pick, had a tough assignment during the first team period when he drew cornerback Casey Hayward. A day earlier, Hayward got his hands on just about every pass thrown his way. But not this time, Adams ran an out route and used his 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame to shield Hayward from the ball. Hayward tried to jump the route, but Adams' positioning allowed him to make the play along the left sideline, leaving Hayward grasping at air.
  • It was a good day for another rookie receiver. Fifth-round pick Jared Abbrederis had perhaps the play of the day, when he hauled in a deep pass from Flynn with cornerback Tramon Williams in tight coverage.
  • Micah Hyde finished last year as the primary punt returner and is getting the first crack at the job this season. In a punt return period, he took the first rep. Others who took turns were Abbrederis, Williams, Randall Cobb and Myles White. There has not been a live kickoff return period yet.
  • Hyde, who continued to work ahead of rookie first round-pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety, had two big pass breakups – one on a deep ball to Jordy Nelson and another when he went over the back of Abbrederis. … After missing more than half of the offseason program while recovering from foot surgery, Bostick is off to a strong start. He had the catch from Tolzien in the no-huddle period and appears to be moving well. … Undrafted rookie tight end Justin Perillo probably does not have NFL speed, but he catches the ball with ease. He made a difficult grab against tight coverage from rookie cornerback Demetri Goodson during a team period. He had at least two catches during team periods. … Lane Taylor took a few snaps with the No. 1 offensive line during team. He played left guard, which is Josh Sitton's spot. … Despite recent praise from McCarthy, safety Sean Richardson appears to be no better than fifth on the depth chart. He has been behind Hyde, Morgan Burnett, Clinton-Dix and Chris Banjo.
  • The only addition to the injury list was linebacker Jamari Lattimore, who had a stomach illness. Right guard T.J. Lang (shoulder) was again limited and did not take any team reps. Don Barclay worked in Lang's place.
  • The Packers' first two practices -- both non-padded workouts -- have lasted two hours, 15 minutes (Saturday) and two hours, 17 minutes (Sunday). McCarthy said Monday's first full-pads workout will go longer. It begins at 8:20 a.m. local time and is followed by a day off from practice on Tuesday.

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