Training Camp Report: Starters Not Likely To Play Three Quarters Thursday

With the Packers coming out of the Seattle game a little banged up, and working on a short week with Jacksonville looming Thursday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he’s "leaning against" playing the starters their customary three quarters in this third preseason game. - More Audio | Video | www.PackersTrainingCamp.com

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Normally for the third preseason game, a team will play its starters for the first three quarters, the most playing time they're likely to get during the four preseason contests.

But with the Packers coming out of Saturday night's game against Seattle a little banged up, and working on a short week with their next game against Jacksonville on Thursday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he's "leaning against" playing the starters their customary three quarters in this third game.

"We have other issues that need to be addressed," McCarthy said following Monday night's practice. "No. 1 the health of our football team. No. 2 we still have a lot of jobs up in the air. We'll probably play a bunch of different combinations on special teams and on offense and defense throughout the second and third quarter."

The competition continues to pick up for some key roles, particularly in the defensive backfield, and little has been decided as far as several backup jobs. So McCarthy wants to see more players get an opportunity to play against the other team's first string, which should happen if the Jaguars follow a traditional playing-time schedule.

Both before and after Thursday's game, McCarthy said he would sit down with General Manager Ted Thompson to discuss the first round of cuts. Teams have to be down to 75 players on Tuesday, Aug. 28, but with the Packers' third preseason game coming so early, the cuts likely will come early as well.

"I think the earlier the better," McCarthy said. "It's good for the player and for the organization."

One cut made

McCarthy said the team will be releasing third-year safety Marviel Underwood on Tuesday. Underwood was a fourth-round draft choice in 2005 who quickly made a mark on special teams and was competing for the starting safety spot last year when he injured his knee in the first preseason game and was lost for the season.

Underwood spent the offseason rehabilitating the knee and had been practicing since the start of training camp, but it appeared he hadn't regained all of his speed and maneuverability.

"I don't think he's back to where he was last year," McCarthy said. "I thought last year he was having a very good camp. The other part of it is the competition at that position has heated up."

Further evaluation

McCarthy said of the four players sustaining MCL injuries to their knees on Saturday night, defensive end Michael Montgomery is probably in the worst shape, and he will undergo an arthroscopic procedure to further evaluate it.

McCarthy wouldn't speculate how long Montgomery would be out, but his absence will put second-year pro Jason Hunter in position to lock down a backup roster spot at defensive end. Also, defensive tackle Corey Williams may begin taking more snaps at end, where he played a handful of downs last Saturday in the second half after Montgomery left the game.

{sportsad300}"I really can't say whether I'll be playing a lot there or not," Williams said. "But if I do I'll be ready for it."

Of the other knee injuries, Orrin Thompson's is a recurring one and he'll be day-to-day. McCarthy said fullback Ryan Powdrell's and receiver Shaun Bodiford's injuries are more serious, and their likely to be out three to five weeks.

Bodiford was injured on the game's opening kickoff and didn't think at the time it was that big a deal.

"I felt like I could walk it off," he said. "I thought I just got hit in my thigh. I had sprained my MCL before, so I did the little test, and it was out of socket."

The injury is a tough blow for Bodiford, who broke his lower leg during the regular season last year on a kickoff return and landed on injured reserve. He had come back from that injury and was battling for a roster spot as a receiver/returner.

"This is another trial I have to go through, and hopefully I can overcome it like I've overcome a lot of things in my life," he said.

More on injuries

Fullback Brandon Miree (neck/stinger) returned to practice on Monday night and was participating in team (11-on-11) drills. The practice was not in pads, and McCarthy said another decision would have to be made for Tuesday's practice whether Miree can practice with full contact.

Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila missed practice for what McCarthy said was a family situation. 'KGB' also has a bruised knee, and is day-to-day.

Running back DeShawn Wynn (quad) and offensive linemen Tony Moll (neck/stinger) and Tony Palmer (hamstring) remained out.

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