GREEN BAY – The Packers were in pads during a two-hour practice in front of fans at Ray Nitschke Field on Tuesday.
Here are five things we learned:
1. Shemar Jean-Charles has been a fast learner inside.
After playing mostly on the perimeter during his prolific run at Appalachian State, Jean-Charles has spent this summer transitioning inside in Green Bay's defensive sub-packages.
And the rookie fifth-round pick is just fine with that.
Known for his nearly impenetrable defense in college, Jean-Charles has looked at home while adjusting to the "star" nickel-corner spot with the second-team unit.
"I tell a lot of people it's a different ball game on the inside," Jean-Charles said. "When you're playing the slot you're playing shiftier receivers for the most part, depending on the team, scheme. But you know, nine times out of 10 you're going to get smaller, quicker, shiftier guys that can try and get you off of the spot. So I feel like my ability matches up well. I have a lot of trust in my feet and my change of direction."
Jean-Charles has a fan in secondary coach Jerry Gray, who identified the rookie as one of four DBs he feels comfortable with in that "star" position, along with starter Chandon Sullivan, All-Pro Jaire Alexander and safety Darnell Savage.
As much as Jean-Charles has impressed from an X's and O's perspective, he evidently has some work to do with his rookie chores. This past week, fellow rookie Eric Stokes playfully called Jean-Charles out for not helping him keep the snack drawer full in the DB room.
Jean-Charles respectfully disagrees.
"Nah, nah, don't believe that. Don't believe that," he said with a smile. "Actually, last night I took a late-night trip to Walmart and got snacks for the older guys, everything they like.
"They got a weird infatuation with pistachios, you know? Yeah, 'Smash' (Adrian Amos) loves pistachios, so I made sure I got the two big family-sized bags just for him, the Rice Krispie treats, so you know, I help out when needed."
2. Kabion Ento is off to a fast start after a year off.
Any hope Ento had of making the Packers' roster last August ended after he suffered a Jones fracture in his foot during a special-teams period in practice.
As disappointing as it was to miss the entire season, Ento remained with the team throughout his rehab. That experience not only helped Ento stay connected to the team, but also aided the former Colorado receiver in what's been a two-year transition to playing cornerback in the NFL.
"It was tough being hurt but I was still in the building, so I could still get better," Ento said. "It was a big mental thing – watch film, get in the meetings, just learning all the calls, trying to learn as many calls as I can. It was mental. Whatever they had me doing physically that I could do on my foot, I did that, too."
Other than his ball skills, the 25-year-old Ento has flushed most of what he knew about playing receiver and taken a blank-canvas approach to learning his new position.
For the past two years, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound cornerback has had to learn how to do everything backwards. Ento has taken a step this summer, earning snaps with the first-team dime defense and even breaking up two passes during Family Night.
"As a receiver, you're used to running a route and, as soon as you run your route, you make your break and you look at the quarterback. I can't do that anymore," Ento said. "My coach said, 'The quarterback ain't throwing you the ball.' That was the biggest thing – trying to get the technique down, and I'm still trying to get the technique down, I'm still fixing my eyes, just whatever it takes. But I'm pretty competitive so I feel like that's what's been helping me a lot."
3. Aaron Rodgers "most likely" won't play in the preseason.
That's according to Head Coach Matt LaFleur, who also said prior to Tuesday's practice that second-year quarterback Jordan Love will take "the majority of the game" against the Houston Texans in Saturday's preseason opener.
Neither tidbit is a huge revelation. Rodgers sat during LaFleur's first preseason as head coach in 2019 and threw just four passes in one series the previous year.
Despite not participating in the Packers' offseason program, Rodgers has looked sharp in practice. He and tight end Robert Tonyan made the play of the day on Tuesday when Rodgers connected with his fourth-year tight end 40 yards downfield through safety traffic.
4. Elgton Jenkins continues to look the part at left tackle.
In almost any other circumstance, the loss of a five-time All-Pro left tackle like David Bakhtiari to injury would send chills down a quarterback's spine.
Not in Green Bay.
While the Packers patiently await Bakhtiari's return, Jenkins has taken his Pro Bowl talent at left guard and carried it over to protecting Rodgers' blindside. Green Bay isn't taking it easy on Jenkins, either.
Case in point, the Packers had Jenkins take two one-on-one reps against top edge rusher Preston Smith and both times Jenkins kept the pocket clean, even when Smith looked to jump the snap.
5. Opportunity is knocking for Jonathan Garvin.
With Randy Ramsey (ankle) out indefinitely and Za'Darius Smith (back) still on the non-football injury list, second-year linebacker Jonathan Garvin is seeing a lot of snaps in the starting defense.
Garvin played in just eight games last year but the former seventh-round pick had a pressure, and possible sack, of Rodgers on Tuesday.
"Garvin's another young player that we're really excited about," LaFleur said. "He's a big heavy-handed guy and can really rush with some really good power. He'll get a lot of time in the preseason to show what he can do."
Rashan Gary returned to practice on Tuesday after sitting out on Monday with a groin issue.