Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy cut Monday’s practice 25 minutes short, as he readies his team for a short-week, preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Just being cautious,” McCarthy said of why he held Rodgers out of practice. “If it was up to him, he would have practiced today. I’m just being smart with him.”
When a pair of rookies, tight end
“I’m really concerned about where we are just physically as a team,” McCarthy said. “I think our team is beat up right now.”
At the skill positions on offense, that’s definitely true. In addition to Taylor and Cobb, the offense also was without receivers
“These are not major injuries,” McCarthy added. “I don’t see any of these players being out for an extended period of time.”
That said, McCarthy took into consideration the fact that the team is on a short, six-day week to get ready for Kansas City, with the regular-season opener against New Orleans just seven days after that.
That’s a quick turnaround as the team makes its final roster decisions this weekend and begins final preparations for the Saints, so McCarthy saw no point in pushing the players physically in what was the final full-pads practice of camp. The players will practice in helmets on Tuesday.
“We don’t have the extra couple days to get guys ready for our opening game,” McCarthy said. “You just have to trust your instincts. I think we’ve kind of hit the wall, and we have a game to play here. It’s an important game for a lot of young players in our locker room, and I want to make sure that I give them every chance to get ready for that contest to win a job on our football team.”
The good news on the injury front was that defensive end
Also, rookie cornerback
To help prepare all the young players for their final preseason showing, McCarthy changed things up in practice a bit as well. Rather than have the starting units work against scout-team looks, he had the starters running scout-team looks against the second and third units on both sides of the ball.
Burnett’s starting job doesn’t appear in jeopardy, but he did make a costly error in Indianapolis last Friday when he charged ahead to guard the wrong receiver as cornerback
“If it’s going to happen, you want those types of plays to happen in the preseason,” McCarthy said. “The safeties all can learn from that particular play.”
That was one of two big plays the defense allowed in an otherwise solid effort against the Colts, while the offense produced a lot of yardage but was bogged down by sacks and left some points on the field.
Eliminating those occasional hiccups is what McCarthy is focused on as camp concludes and the opener rapidly approaches.
“You don’t get to throw out two plays on defense, and you can’t throw out the negative plays on offense and one or two plays on special teams,” McCarthy said. “That’s the gap that we need to close before the regular season gets here.”