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    Packers fans 21 years and older are invited to bring the spirit of Green Bay to the Tampa Bay area a day early with two free Packers Everywhere Pep Rallies on Saturday, Dec. 20.

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  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 8:15 PM - 9:00 PM CST Packers Everywhere pep rally

    Packers fans 21 years and older are invited to bring the spirit of Green Bay to the Tampa Bay area a day early with two free Packers Everywhere Pep Rallies on Saturday, Dec. 20.

    The festivities will take place at two different locations in the Tampa Bay area Saturday. The main pep rally will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. EST at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, located at 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla. The second event will be held from 8:15 to 9 p.m. at The Varsity Club, located at 24091 US Hwy 19 N., Clearwater, Fla.

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News & notes: WRs Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb on their way back

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 25, 2013 – 5:39 pm

On Sunday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy explained the team’s decision to release QB Graham Harrell, which can be found here. A third kicker was also added to the competition, and you can read about his strong first impression here.

Other news & notes from the day…

–Nelson, Cobb back to work: WRs Jordy Nelson (knee) and Randall Cobb (bicep) were back on the practice field on Sunday, a good sign that the Packers WR corps could be at full strength for the season opener in San Francisco. Both players ran routes during a lengthy jog-thru period and did some conditioning work after.

Neither receiver has played in a preseason game yet, so Thursday in Kansas City would be the last opportunity, but that isn’t taking paramount importance.

“I don’t think it’s going to matter, because if I do play, it’s not going to be much,” Nelson said. “I think that little bit of work is not going to make a difference if I get it or not, but we’ll see.

“I feel good. If it was a regular-season game, we could definitely be going. But we still have to be smart, see what happens, and take it day by day.”

Cobb is taking the same approach. Wearing a compression sleeve on his injured right bicep, Cobb said he will play “free-minded” and not have any worries about the injury when he’s out there full time.

“I can play. If it’s up to me, I’d be on the field (Thursday), but we’re going to be smart about the situation,” he said. “We know what we’re dealing with and we know what we’ve got going forward, so we’re going to be smart about it.”

–Banjo making roster bid: Rookie S Chris Banjo, who went undrafted out of SMU, is making a bid for the No. 4 safety spot on the roster with his heads-up play on both defense and special teams.

In last Friday’s game in Seattle, Banjo made an impressive tackle of TE Luke Willson just shy of the first-down marker on third-and-5, forcing the Seahawks to punt. Later, he brought down former Packer Will Blackmon on a punt return.

“Chris Banjo has been making plays since he arrived,” Mike McCarthy said. “Very pleased what he has shown so far. This will be a big game for all the young guys, and definitely for Chris.”

There’s no guarantee the Packers will keep four safeties, but starter Morgan Burnett sustained a hamstring injury last Friday, which could force the Packers to go deeper at the position, increasing Banjo’s chances.

Banjo has been working against the odds from the start, arriving four days into camp after being released July 25 by Jacksonville.

“It was definitely tough, I can’t lie, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so much new terminology and all the adjustments,” Banjo said. “Trying to get all that put together and looking like I belong on the field, not looking lost, that was definitely a tough curve. But day by day I’m getting better at it, and I’m trying to put it all together.”

Injury update: Of the players injured in last Friday’s game, McCarthy said Burnett (hamstring) and CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) would not be available this week. LB Brad Jones (hamstring) could be back sooner than the other two.

RB DuJuan Harris (knee) and CB Jarrett Bush (ankle) also missed practice, while TE Matthew Mulligan (elbow) returned.

CB Tramon Williams (knee) would not rule himself out for Week 1 in San Francisco, but he wasn’t guaranteeing he’d be ready, either.

“We’re taking our time with it,” he said. “There was never a timetable set for it, but it wasn’t serious. That’s what was coming from the doctor. We’re still pushing and, like Coach said, making progress.”


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News & notes: Jordy Nelson still hoping for opener

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 19, 2013 – 5:49 pm

For a rundown on Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference, during which he discussed the team’s health and the need for more high-impact plays, check out today’s feature story. Here are some additional news & notes from Monday:

–Nelson aims for San Francisco: WR Jordy Nelson, who is out for the preseason after having surgery on his knee, wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee he’d be ready for Week 1, but he said that remains the goal and thus far “we’re progressing right on schedule.”

The knee issue is something that first cropped up for Nelson during his college days at Kansas State, and he has dealt with it in his pro career, but he said it’s never been a constant thing. That’s why he never had the surgery until now, when it cropped up after one week of training camp but five weeks before the first game.

“You want to avoid surgery as much as possible,” Nelson said. “That’s what we tried to do. We thought we had it taken care of, and then we realized we didn’t.

“Something happened in practice and it flared back up. Right away I knew it. There was enough time left before opening week that we were felt hopefully we could get in and get out and get ready to go. That was our plan, and that’s what we’re still hoping for.”

Nelson added that had the flare-up occurred during the regular season, he would have been able to play through it, but with the timing it made sense to go this route.

“Our main goal was San Fran, and that’s a goal,” he said. “You never know what will happen. We’ll continue to take it day by day.”

–Extra attention: No one has distinguished himself as the clear No. 2 QB, but Mike McCarthy feels no matter who wins the job, the Packers will be better off for having brought in Vince Young.

“I look at the quarterback room, it’s a better room since the day Vince Young came in here,” McCarthy said. “The minute he walked through the door, Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman have picked it up. That has been very evident from my viewpoint.”

Coleman has been the fourth QB in the rotation in the first two preseason games, but McCarthy complimented him for making “a hell of a play” on his TD pass in St. Louis, the Packers’ only TD of the preseason thus far.

On the play, Coleman scrambled to his right to buy time and then fired a strike at the front pylon of the end zone to undrafted rookie TE Jake Stoneburner, who was coming back hard for the ball. The score capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive.

“We’ve been working more scout stuff than our own stuff,” Coleman said of the third-string offensive unit he directs. “To be able to go out there, sustain a drive … those guys deserve it. They worked hard.”

–No interest in spectating: Rookie DE Datone Jones said he “hates” watching practice, even if it was just for one week with a bum ankle, in part because it reminds him of when he missed an entire college season due to a broken foot.

DE Datone Jones

DE Datone Jones

“It ate at me,” he said of then, and now, after Jones returned to practice on Monday.

He said he knew right away this injury wasn’t as bad as the college one, though, so he wasn’t overly anxious about it. It came on his very first snap in the first preseason game, when he was tripped by an opposing Arizona offensive lineman on his way to the QB.

“All I can remember is I made a great inside move, great pass rush move,” he said. “All of a sudden, Carson Palmer is in front of me, my eyes got bright and after that I was on the ground. That’s all I can really remember. I feel like I made a great play, it just turns out I hurt my ankle.”

–New duties: Rookie CB Micah Hyde returned his first punt of the preseason on Saturday in St. Louis, darting and dodging his way for 13 yards up the middle of the field. McCarthy said he’s going to give Hyde more punt-return opportunities this week, and Hyde says he’s ready.

“I feel comfortable,” Hyde said. “I did it in the past, and the coaches trust me enough to put me back there. I’m going to try to make the best of it.”

Hyde returned punts his final two seasons in college at Iowa. He recorded 13 returns for 68 yards, with a long of 27, in 2012, and he had 13 returns for 108 yards, with a long of 30, in 2011.


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News & notes: TE Brandon Bostick coming on strong

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 6, 2013 – 2:54 pm

The latest on Bryan Bulaga’s knee injury can be found here, and more on rookie tackle David Bakhtiari and the introduction of QB Vince Young to Green Bay is right here. Regarding other news & notes …

–Bostick showing up: With injuries at tight end to Andrew Quarless (quad) and now Ryan Taylor (knee), practice-squad holdover Brandon Bostick is starting to show up more on the practice field.

TE Brandon Bostick

TE Brandon Bostick

In the scrimmage on Saturday night, Bostick made a tough catch in traffic over the middle. Then on Tuesday, he caught two TD passes during red-zone work. The first was on a quick flip from QB Aaron Rodgers over the middle that appeared to be an audible at the line. The second was on a crossing route thrown by QB Graham Harrell. Bostick caught it right in front of CB Jarrett Bush and absorbed a hit from S Chris Banjo at the goal line.

He nearly turned a good day into a great day, but he couldn’t haul in another potential TD pass from Rodgers on a difficult catch at the goal line with Bush in tight coverage.

“That would have topped off the day,” Bostick said. “It was a tough catch. I should have made that play. It was good coverage and Aaron threw a great ball. I should have made that play.”

Bostick said the key for him is being able to play faster and not think as much, now that he’s had a full year to make the transition from Division II college receiver and learn Green Bay’s offense. He says his position coach, Jerry Fontenot, is always reminding him to “play fast.”

Bostick also continues to work on his blocking, and on one play he handled Nick Perry’s outside rush OK, though he wasn’t totally satisfied.

“I held my own, but you always want to get that push,” he said. “You always want to be on the other side of the line of scrimmage.”

That’s a tough task for anyone against Perry, but Bostick is quietly improving this camp. Now he has to keep showing growth when the preseason games start on Friday.

–Injury update: Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Taylor would be “week to week” but he didn’t think he’d be out long. WR Jordy Nelson had a procedure done on his knee and is out for the remainder of the preseason, at least.

RB Alex Green (knee) and DE Datone Jones (illness) also missed practice, while WR Randall Cobb (bicep) and DL Johnny Jolly (cramps) left the workout early.

LB Dezman Moses and S David Fulton both returned to practice after missing Saturday’s scrimmage.

–Harrell follows up: After a solid showing in the scrimmage, backup QB Graham Harrell was productive again on Tuesday. In the red-zone work, in addition to the TD to Bostick, he also hit WR Myles White on both a slant and a quick out for TDs with pinpoint throws. Later, he connected with WR Alex Gillett in the back of the end zone for another score.

QB B.J. Coleman hasn’t been able to close the gap on Harrell, and Coleman didn’t help himself by overthrowing a wide open TE Jake Stoneburner at the goal line off a play-action bootleg. Young’s arrival as a fourth QB is only going to put more pressure on Coleman, but McCarthy said he’s “not giving up on B.J. Coleman.”

–Boykin steady: At the start of camp, WR Jarrett Boykin was considered the front-runner for the No. 4 receiver spot, and he’s done nothing to lose his hold on it. On Tuesday, he made an impressive sliding catch on a deep ball in a one-on-one drill against CB Brandon Smith, and then in the no-huddle period to close practice, he made two nice catches on throws from Rodgers, the first a back-shoulder ball along the sideline, and the second a slant on which Boykin took a big hit from S Jerron McMillian but secured the catch.


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News & notes: Sharp two-minute drill for offense

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 2, 2013 – 10:12 pm

Friday night’s practice ended with a crisply executed two-minute drill during which QB Aaron Rodgers needed just four snaps and 36 seconds to score a TD.

QB Aaron Rodgers

QB Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers began the drive with back-to-back 15-yard completions to WR Jeremy Ross. He then hit WR James Jones down the sideline for a 25-yard gain before zipping a 15-yard TD pass to TE Jermichael Finley. The drive began with just 56 seconds on the clock and the offense needing a touchdown. Rodgers was 4-for-4 for 70 yards, and the score came with 20 seconds to spare.

“The two-minute drive was very clean for the offense,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “Aaron was very sharp. It was clean on every single play. He does a phenomenal job with the cadence. Obviously he had the big play there (to Jones), and the ball to Jermichael. That was very well done.”

Other notes and observations:

–LB Nate Palmer (shoulder) returned to practice, but the injury list lengthened with WR Jordy Nelson (knee), TE Andrew Quarless (quad) and LB Jamari Lattimore (illness) missing practice. Also, LB Brad Jones (finger) dropped out of practice.

–The absences of Lattimore and Jones at inside linebacker led to rookie seventh-round draft pick Sam Barrington taking a series of reps alongside A.J. Hawk with the first defense in team work. Earlier in practice, Barrington had a thunderous collision with FB John Kuhn in the half-line running drill that was perhaps the loudest pop of pads in camp thus far.

–CB Davon House was working with the first defense instead of rookie CB Micah Hyde, and House had an up-and-down night. In a lengthy team (11-on-11) segment, House was beaten deep by WR Jarrett Boykin, who hauled in a perfect rainbow from Rodgers. Later, House had solid coverage deep on WR Alex Gillett, leading to QB Graham Harrell’s pass falling incomplete.

–RB James Starks continued a solid first week of camp with an impressive rep in the one-on-one blitz pickup drill against the outside linebackers. Rather inconsistent through his career picking up blitzes, Starks cleanly kept Palmer at bay.

–After a sloppy practice on Thursday, the ball was still on the ground too much. On the aforementioned collision between Barrington and Kuhn in the half-line run drill, RB Angelo Pease ended up fumbling the ball. A few snaps earlier in that drill, there was a botched QB-C exchange between Harrell and Patrick Lewis.

Also, during team work, DL Johnny Jolly burst into the backfield and stripped RB Alex Green of the ball. CB Brandon Smith recovered for the defense.

“Good play for the defense, bad play for the offense,” McCarthy said. “I thought it was a good play by Johnny, it’s unacceptable by Alex. That’s part of training against one another.”

Overall, McCarthy was pleased with the workout heading into the Family Night scrimmage, which will feature the first live tackling of training camp.

“I thought it was a good practice,” McCarthy said. “The energy is where it needs to be. That’s our seventh install practice of eight, so I feel very good about where we are schematically.”

–Updates were posted earlier on Friday featuring the Packers’ running game and the inside LB combination of Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk.


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Wide receivers all return to practice on Thurs.

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 10, 2013 – 1:52 pm

All three Packers WRs who missed practice on Wednesday were back on the field Thursday during the portion of the workout open to the media.

Jordy Nelson (ankle), Randall Cobb (illness) and Jarrett Boykin (ankle) all returned to practice for the final day of preparations for Saturday night’s NFC Divisional Playoff game in San Francisco.

Also, rookie S Jerron McMillian (personal issue) was back on the practice field Thursday as well.

Mike McCarthy will address the media one final time this week following practice.

Post-practice update: Boykin actually is listed as “did not participate,” even though he was dressed and had his helmet with him at practice. McCarthy said he would not be ready this week.

Cobb and Nelson were both listed as limited, and it’s expected both will be available to play. McCarthy said Cobb is still under the weather a bit but he should be fine. Nelson ran several deep routes and “looked pretty good,” McCarthy said.

“We’ll be good to go come Saturday,” Nelson said. “Guys are ready to go.”


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Cobb, Nelson, Boykin, McMillian all miss practice Wed.

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 9, 2013 – 12:42 pm

The state of the Packers’ receiving corps is suddenly in a bit of doubt after WRs Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin all were absent from practice on Wednesday during the portion of the workout open to reporters.

Nelson didn’t play a full game last week, while Boykin missed it entirely. Both were listed on the injury report. Cobb missed the regular-season finale at Minnesota due to ankle and knee injuries, but it isn’t known if his absence on Wednesday was related to that. Mike McCarthy will address the media and issue the first injury report of the week following practice.

Also, S Jerron McMillian missed practice for the second straight day, and veteran C Jeff Saturday appeared very limited and was not participating in the drills with his position group.

Post-practice update: McCarthy said he wasn’t overly concerned about the receiver position for Saturday. Cobb was home due to illness, and the coach is “hopeful” Nelson can practice on Thursday. Nelson has been dealing with an “ongoing” ankle issue.

McMillian has been absent due to a personal issue and was supposed to be traveling back to Green Bay on Wednesday, McCarthy said.


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Nelson, McMillian not at practice on Tues.

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 8, 2013 – 4:45 pm

WR Jordy Nelson and S Jerron McMillian were not at practice on Tuesday during the portion of the workout open to the media.

On the other side of the injury equation, TE Jermichael Finley (hamstring) and WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle) were practicing. Finley left last Saturday’s wild-card game, while Boykin was inactive.

Mike McCarthy will be addressing the media shortly.


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Tramon Williams probable for Packers; Ponder, Winfield questionable for Vikings

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 4, 2013 – 2:26 pm

Tramon WilliamsPackers CB Tramon Williams, who missed Thursday’s practice due to illness, is listed as probable on the injury report for Saturday night’s game.

Of the four Packers pass-catchers on the injury report, only WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle) is out. WR Randall Cobb, WR Jordy Nelson and TE Jermichael Finley are all probable.

Also listed as probable are RB Alex Green, CB Davon House and DB Charles Woodson.

RB James Starks (knee) is listed as questionable, while DE Jerel Worthy (knee) is out. Worthy’s injury is season-ending.

The Vikings are listing two starters as questionable — QB Christian Ponder (elbow) and CB Antoine Winfield (hand). Ponder developed a sore elbow following a hit from Packers S Morgan Burnett on a blitz last Sunday but finished the game without incident. Winfield tried to play with a soft cast on his broken hand but removed himself from the game by halftime.

The only player the Vikings have ruled out is backup LB Tyrone McKenzie (shoulder). The other eight Vikings on the injury report — including starters DE Jared Allen, DE Brian Robison, S Harrison Smith and RB Adrian Peterson — are all probable.


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Jordy Nelson back at practice on Wed.

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 2, 2013 – 12:10 pm

WR Jordy Nelson returned to the practice field on Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s jog-through workout due to a knee injury he sustained last Sunday in Minnesota.

Not practicing during the media portion of Wednesday’s workout were WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle) and DE Jerel Worthy (knee). RB James Starks (knee) was once again dressed for practice but appeared to be observing only.

Mike McCarthy will provide an update after practice.

Update: McCarthy announced that Worthy is out for the rest of the season with his knee injury.

Nelson told reporters that he plans to play but stopped short of guaranteeing he’d be on the field. McCarthy said the team doctors have “some concerns” about Nelson’s knee.


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Randall Cobb in, Jordy Nelson out at practice Tues.

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 1, 2013 – 4:38 pm

WR Randall Cobb was practicing during the media portion of the Packers’ jog-thru workout on Tuesday, but WR Jordy Nelson was not.

Cobb missed last week’s game with knee and ankle injuries but appears on track to return this week for the rematch in the NFC Wild Card playoff against the Vikings. Nelson injured his knee in last Sunday’s game at the Metrodome and came out briefly but returned to catch a game-tying TD pass in the fourth quarter.

Also not practicing on Tuesday were WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle) and DE Jerel Worthy (knee), who both left Sunday’s game with injuries.

CB Davon House was back at practice after missing last week’s game, and DB Charles Woodson continued to practice and could be on track to return after missing the final nine games of the regular season.

At running back, Alex Green didn’t play in last Sunday’s game but was practicing. Also, RB James Starks was at practice with helmet in hand, but in the portion open to the media did not appear to be participating.

Mike McCarthy will address the media after practice, near the top of the hour.

Post-practice update: Cobb spoke with reporters after practice and said he expects to play on Saturday.

“It was about a 50-50 decision,” Cobb said of sitting out last Sunday in Minnesota. “We felt it was the best option to hold out and I think I’ll be ready to go this week.”

McCarthy declined to comment on Nelson’s absence from practice, however, only saying he’d have more information on Wednesday. The first official injury report of the week will be on Wednesday.


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