For the second time in the past few months, the Packers have lost an offensive lineman for the season due to injury.
Adrian Klemm, the No. 2 left tackle at the start of training camp, injured his Achilles' tendon Saturday and was placed on injured reserve Sunday, ending his season. During spring workouts, the Packers also lost Kevin Barry for the season to a torn quadriceps tendon.
The Packers signed offensive tackle Todd Williams to help with the depth on the line. The latest injury also will give rookie tackles Josh Bourke and Tony Moll a chance to move up the depth chart.
"Once again it's opportunity," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "Some of the greatest careers in the National Football League have started this way. We're going to go with what we've got and we're excited about them."
The Packers are also very young at guard and have several players competing for spots, but McCarthy indicated he has no plans to move any of the guards to fill the void at tackle. He'd rather have them learn one position first, which he believes makes a potential later transition to another spot much easier.
"When you're learning two positions at once, you dilute his ability to learn and progress," McCarthy said.
Backup offensive lineman Will Whitticker is back at left tackle because of the injury to Klemm.
Whitticker played at guard last season, was moved to left tackle during offseason workouts, and then began training camp as the No. 2 right tackle.
But now Whitticker is back to where he was in the spring, and thus far he's made every adjustment smoothly. He also has dropped some weight, which appears to have improved his mobility.
"I think 'Whitt' has done a great job for us throughout the offseason," McCarthy said. "He's moved around for us a bunch, and has the ability to potentially compete for an inside spot. We're very happy with what 'Whitt' has done so far."
All fired up
The players and fans got very animated during a blitz pickup drill on the north end of Clarke Hinkle Field during the evening practice.
In the drill, a running back and blitzing linebacker are isolated, with the linebacker coming in full speed. The collisions were somewhat violent and it generated perhaps the most excitement and emotion thus far in camp, maybe a little too much.
"The next time we do it there will be a little more technique involved," McCarthy said. "I think there was an attitude that was not evident the first time, and we got that part fixed."
Among the notable plays, linebacker Abdul Hodge blasted through Arliss Beach on one blitz. On another, fullback Vonta Leach stoned A.J. Hawk on his attempt.
Ready to go
Receiver Rod Gardner returned to practice and said his left hamstring is 100 percent. Gardner, a former first-round draft pick in 2001 who was picked up off waivers by the Packers last December, will have a shot at the starting receiver position opposite Donald Driver and wants to make the most of this second career chance.
"It's time to get it back on track," said Gardner, who played four seasons in Washington, was traded to Carolina in 2005, and then picked up off waivers by the Packers for the final two games last year. "I'm eager and hungry for it. I'm going to go out here, work hard and get it done."
After a couple of practices to knock the rust off, the Packers had a shorter morning workout Sunday, the first day with two practices scheduled.
The shorter practices, about an hour less than the 2 1/2-hour full-pads workouts, are designed to get players focusing on the little things and concentrating on execution, and McCarthy noted afterward he felt the team was much crisper than Saturday.
"This is exactly what the a.m. practice in my vision needs to look like," he said. "It's a cut-down practice. This practice here was a review of the first two practices."
Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said he sustained a minor head injury in the car accident Saturday just outside Lambeau Field. He participated in some individual drills during both workouts Sunday and said he may be cleared to return to full-time duty as early as Monday.