Mike McCarthy called it one of the most challenging practices of training camp. Putting the pads back on less than 48 hours from the first full speed contact against an opponent in the pre-season. The Packers returned to Ray Nitschke Field after Saturday night's 27-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns and just when the guys were getting over the soreness from the Midwest Shrine Game, the collissions started again. The coaching staff's bark was as good as their bite too, because the team had plenty of mistakes to correct. The first team defense surrendured 14 points in the first two posessions, the offense turned it over twice and the special teams got very little accomplished in the first dress rehearsal. Case in point, the daily ball security drill. Assistant head coach Winston Moss runs this brief period every day and after the Packers fumbled the ball four times, losing it twice he was vocal in jacking up the guys. He made the ballcarriers slam into a converging triangle of defenders who had several seconds to beat up the runner and try to jar the ball free. It got very spririted to say the least. Special teams coach Shawn Slocum worked extensively on kick coverage and return blocking techniques.
A few more players than first thought were held out of practice. Running back Ryan Grant indeed suffered a concussion on the game's first snap, a lost fumble. He said he is visiting a neurologist Tuesday but expects to be fine by the weekend. Backup Kregg Lumpkin pulled a hamstring and James Starks is still not ready to go so the backfield was thinned considerably. So much so, fullback John Kuhn got plenty of reps at the halfback position today. The other significant injury from the game was backup tight end Tom Crabtree who may have broken a bone in his hand. Other players held out of practice were Clay Matthews, Cyril Obiozor, Jason Spitz, Alex Joseph, Nick Barnett, Will Blackmon and Evan Dietrich-Smith.
A first at camp today, the starting offense finally won a game with a drive in the two minute drill. Given 1:11 to play, down 16-10 with one timeout and 60 yards to go, Aaron Rodgers led the drive with completions to Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson and James Jones. On 4h and one from the 6, Rodgers hit Jones on a turn around route at the goal line for the touchdown with a few seconds to spare.