The Green Bay Packers hosted their second open practice of the spring with their full roster on Tuesday, their final open practice before minicamp kicks off next week. Here’s what you need to know about what happened at the voluntary organized team activity today.
Who showed up
Last Tuesday, Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Marcedes Lewis, Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Jonathan Garvin, Randy Ramsey and Rasul Douglas did not report to organized team activities, which are voluntary. Today, Douglas was the only player missing from last week who attended practice, meaning it’s safe to assume that the remaining players will not be in Green Bay until mandatory minicamp begins next Tuesday.
Beyond the players who missed last week’s open practice, running back Patrick Taylor, receiver Amari Rodgers, cornerback Jaire Alexander and safety Adrian Amos were not at practice today, by Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. According to head coach Matt LaFleur, there were some issues with flights being canceled during the high-volume travel following Memorial Day, which led to a few “anticipated” players having to miss the workout.
David Bakhtiari won’t practice until camp
LaFleur fielded questions before practice today and noted that the team’s plan all along has been to keep left tackle David Bakhtiari out of OTAs. Bakhtiari is recovering from a 2019 ACL tear that has led to irregular swelling in his knee.
Acme Packing Company’s Tex Western wrote a post on LaFleur’s full comments earlier today, which you can find here.
Vets continue to stay ahead of rookies on OL
One of the big takeaways from the Packers’ first open practice with their “full” roster last week was the fact that Cole Van Lanen was the team’s first-team right tackle, with Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins out for injury. According to Packer Report’s Andy Herman, the offensive line has not shuffled from the Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Royce Newman and Van Lanen (left-to-right) lineup on the first team. Like last week, per Herman, Jake Hanson — who has really only seen time with the Packers as a reserve center — has rotated in at right guard with Newman kicking out to tackle in place of Van Lanen with the first team.
Green Bay seems to be very conservative with their rookies at this point in time, which shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s doubtful that Sean Rhyan, Zach Tom and Rasheed Walker, three rookie draft picks, will be buried in the depth chart for much longer.
Herman also noted that Green Bay’s starting defense in practice included defensive linemen Kenny Clark and TJ Slaton, edge rushers Tipa Galeai and LaDarius Hamilton, inside linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes, cornerbacks Eric Stokes, Rasul Douglas and Keisean Nixon and safeties Darnell Savage and Shawn Davis . This obviously comes with the caveat that pass-rushers Rashan Gary and Preston Smith along with defensive backs Jaire Alexander and Adrian Amos were not at practice on Tuesday, all of whom are locks to start if healthy and present.
At the very least, it’s another example of the Packers slow-playing rookies, the both first-round picks in Devonte Wyatt and Quay Walker have not yet cracked the starting lineup in practice. It is worth noting at this point that Nixon, who was signed this offseason, has passed 2021 fifth-round pick Shemar Jean-Charles and Kabion Ento for practice reps and that Shawn Davis, who was on the Packers’ practice squad for most of the season, is ahead of Vernon Scott and Innis Gaines, who were both on Green Bay’s roster last year, on the depth chart. Nixon, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette‘s Ryan Woodsaw slot reps today, which may signal how the team wants to use Douglas and Stokes on the outside in nickel looks when Alexander does return to the team.
Rasul Douglas gets gunner reps in return
Last week, notable starters like running back Aaron Jones, inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and safety Adrian Amos saw special teams snaps in the Packers’ open practice. As we then predicted, cornerback Rasul Douglas did in fact get key special team looks in his return to the team. Per Wood, Douglas and fellow cornerback Eric Stokes saw snaps as gunners and vices on punt and punt return, respectively. At this point, it seems clear that new special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia’s plan is the following: Get the starters involved in the third phase of football.