Players Will Rest And Recover

The weather-induced cancellation of Saturday’s Family Night scrimmage was a disappointment for all involved, including the players and especially the 50,787 fans who attended the annual event at Lambeau Field. - More Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 8


The weather-induced cancellation of Saturday's Family Night scrimmage was a disappointment for all involved, including the players and especially the 50,787 fans who attended the annual event at Lambeau Field.

But if there's a silver lining for the Packers, it's that the night off from full contact, followed by another off day on Sunday, will give the team a chance to get healthy and take care of some of the bumps and bruises that have built up over this first week of training camp.

"We're going to take this opportunity to get the players back and we'll hit it Monday morning just to keep our install schedule going," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "I'm very pleased with the number of reps that we were able to attain last week in practice. We feel as a coaching staff, just during the delay having an opportunity to meet with the coordinators and some of the coaches, we feel that we are ahead of schedule in some areas. Really the health of our football team is the priority right now."

Injuries would have kept 11 of the Packers' 80 players from participating in the scrimmage. The latest to be added to the injury list was running back DeShawn Wynn, who hadn't missed a practice yet but has come down with a sore knee.

In addition to Wynn, tight end Tory Humphrey (forearm), running back Brandon Jackson (shoulder), linebackers Clay Matthews (hamstring), Nick Barnett (knee/PUP) and Brad Jones (back/PUP), cornerback Pat Lee (back), safety Anthony Smith (groin), receivers Ruvell Martin (groin) and Patrick Williams (hamstring) and defensive end Johnny Jolly (ankle) were not suited up for the scrimmage.

While Humphrey is out for an extended period and the return of Barnett and Jones is by no means imminent, everyone else on the list could be back any day. And when you consider defensive end Justin Harrell and linebacker Jeremy Thompson, who were suited up Saturday night, both missed some practice time toward the end of the week, the team certainly can use the time to rest and recover.

"You talk to our coaching staff, this is one of the most physical camps we've had ever, to date," offensive guard Daryn Colledge said. "There's a certain energy that is moving through this offense, this defense and this locker room, and it's great. Guys are out there busting around, getting stuff done, and hard work is being done. A couple guys need some time off. We've got a couple guys nicked up that we'd love to have back at practice, and this will be a great time to rest. I hope the guys take advantage of it."

Players will get injury treatments on Sunday, but there are no practices or meetings scheduled. The team returns to the field at 2 p.m. on Monday.

"This has been as physical a camp as I've been in since I got here," linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "It's been good so far. That's why having this canceled tonight isn't going to hurt us as maybe it would in years past because of how physical we've been and the number of plays we've taken so far in camp."

{sportsad300}The biggest thing the players missed out on was their first session of live tackling, which now will come in the first preseason game next Saturday, Aug. 15, against the Cleveland Browns. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins noted it's important for defenders to work on shedding blocks and making tackles at live speed, though they still have four preseason games to do so.

The offensive linemen also haven't actually thrown any cut blocks yet, and that will have to wait until the preseason contests as well.

In general, the players were fired up to take the field and appreciated the atmosphere the fans brought to Lambeau. But with lightning in the area, it was imperative to clear the fans and players from the stadium bowl for safety, and the storm system simply didn't move through the area as quickly as everyone had hoped.

"The rookies were pumped up, a few of them were a little nervous too I think," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "We obviously wanted to be out there."

Notes:Through the end of August, fans with a ticket stub from Saturday's Family Night scrimmage can receive free admission to the Packers Hall of Fame with the purchase of a Lambeau Field stadium tour…Although the team wasn't able to scrimmage because of the weather, Family Night did include pre-game activities outside the stadium, fireworks in Lambeau Field, as well as jersey giveaways…Veteran cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Al Harris were going to be given the night off and were not in uniform…According to Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, over 61,000 tickets had been distributed for the Family Night Scrimmage, with an actual attendance of 50,787.

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