The big news from Monday’s practice was that first-round draft pick Bryan Bulaga began taking some snaps at LG. Bulaga had only worked at LT thus far in his first NFL camp, but he began rotating with Daryn Colledge at LG on the No. 1 line. After practice, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Bulaga had earned the right to compete for the starting LG position.
The team is also pretty banged up following Saturday night’s scrimmage. In addition to the three PUP players who haven’t practiced yet — S Atari Bigby (ankle), CB Al Harris (knee) and RB James Starks (hamstring) — the following players all sat out: WR Brett Swain (knee), CB Josh Bell (foot), S Will Blackmon (knee), LBs Frank Zombo (ankle), Alex Joseph (quad), Brady Poppinga (concussion), Clay Matthews (hamstring) and Nick Barnett (knee), WR Donald Driver (calf), TE Andrew Quarless (hamstring) and DE Ronald Talley (knee).
McCarthy said Matthews is expected to be out two weeks. He’s dealing with the same hamstring that gave him trouble as a rookie in training camp last year. The report on Bigby’s ankle surgery was good and he’s expected to be out four weeks.
With Matthews out, Brandon Chillar and Brad Jones were taking the snaps with the No. 1 defense at OLB. Desmond Bishop was Barnett’s replacement on the inside.
With Bulaga getting work at LG, Allen Barbre was working with the backup units at LT.
Rookie Mike Neal was getting a lot of snaps with the No. 1 units in nickel and dime alignments.
RB Brandon Jackson remained the No. 1 kickoff returner with Blackmon out. CB Sam Shields was the next man up, followed by RB Quinn Porter.
In team work, LB A.J. Hawk picked up where he left off in the scrimmage and got good pressure on QB Aaron Rodgers to force a throwaway. The defense maintained its physical play as CB Tramon Williams followed through on a tackle of TE Jermichael Finley after a reception near the sideline.
Rodgers found WR Jordy Nelson deep down the right sideline for a big gain, with Nelson making a diving catch in between CBs Charles Woodson and Brandon Underwood. Backup QB Matt Flynn also hit a big pass to rookie WR Shawn Gore when Gore slipped well behind the defense down the left sideline.
K Mason Crosby was 6-for-8 in a FG session. With P Tim Masthay holding, Crosby was good from 28, 36 and 40 yards. Then with P Chris Bryan holding, Crosby was wide left from 43, good from 43, good from 45, wide left from 53 and good from 53.
Practice ended with the 2-minute drill, and the defense won again. Rodgers was mistakenly knocked down by a defender and floated an incomplete pass on the first play, but after that he found Nelson for gains of 20 and 24 yards, the first one a nice sliding catch. That put the ball on the 16, but the drive stalled. Rodgers was high and incomplete to WR James Jones in the end zone, then Chillar and Jones converged for a sack. On third-and-long, Rodgers’ pass for TE Spencer Havner was over his head and picked off by S Nick Collins at the goal line.
That’s all for now.
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