Players practiced in shells on Monday.
T/G Bryan Bulaga (hip flexor), T Chad Clifton (knee swelling) and DE Jarius Wynn (concussion) all returned to practice on Monday. LB Brad Jones (shoulder) also returned but in a more limited capacity. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said afterward he wanted to get Jones a little bit of work and he will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Clifton also sat out several team reps, which were taken by Bulaga and T.J. Lang.
LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and DE Cullen Jenkins (calf) all went through the opening jog-through portion of practice but then sat out after that.
Missing the entire practice were S Will Blackmon (knee), CB Brandon Underwood (shoulder), RB Quinn Porter (knee), T/G Allen Barbre (back) and the three PUP players — S Atari Bigby (ankle), CB Al Harris (knee) and RB James Starks (hamstring). McCarthy said the medical staff is trying to determine if Underwood’s injury is an existing condition from his previous shoulder surgery or if it’s a new injury.
McCarthy also said that with Blackmon out, rookie WR Jason Chery would get all the punt- and kick-return reps in the game Thursday at Kansas City. Chery returned a punt 75 yards for a TD last Thursday vs. Indy.
Fundamentals continue to be an emphasis, even this late in the preseason. The players continued the basic tackling drills they’ve been doing call camp, and the punt returners — WR Jordy Nelson, Chery and CB Tramon Williams — also caught punts off the Jugs machine with two other players nearby as distractions.
As far as the battle for roster spots among the backup tight ends, it’s worth noting that both Donald Lee and Tom Crabtree are on the No. 1 punt and kickoff return units.
Like Sunday, some of the starters took more scout team reps than regular snaps in practice because they won’t play much on Thursday in Kansas City. Crowd noise was piped in during the team periods with two road games — KC and the Week 1 opener in Philadelphia — coming up.
QB Matt Flynn had a couple of impressive throws during team work. He beat a corner blitz by perfectly placing a sideline throw between safeties Morgan Burnett and Nick Collins for a completion to TE Spencer Havner. He also connected with Nelson on a deep ball down the right sideline.
On defense, CB Pat Lee had a nice break-up of a fade route to the back corner of the end zone by WR Patrick Williams. Burnett also had an INT on a badly overthrown pass.
During a field goal period, K Mason Crosby went 6-for-8 with a strong wind at his back. He was good from 28, 33, 36, 40 and 43 before missing from 45 and 53, both wide left. He finished the period by hitting a 57-yarder.
One more practice is open to the public, Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. Then the team is off to Kansas City on Thursday and practices beginning next week are closed.
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