Packers get key players back, others still remain out

The Green Bay Packers didn’t start their practice yesterday till the afternoon, but saw lots of names return to the practice field.

Damarious Randall and Malachi Dupre both returned to the field yesterday, after both suffered concussions on questionable hits in the first preseason game against the Eagles.

Ty Montgomery also was back at practice after suffering a lower body soft tissue injury. He was listed as a limited participant. Montgomery hopes to get some playing time this Saturday against the Denver Broncos.

The Packers also got Wide receiver Colby Pearson and Tight end Cody Peck back at practice.

Jayrone Elliott was the lone Packer to come down with an injury in yesterday’s practice. The Packers were depending on the fourth year player out of Toledo to have more of an impact at outside linebacker this season.

Players still being held out of practice were Davon House (hamstring), Jermaine Whitehead (hip), Demetri Goodson (knee), William Stanback (hamstring), Derrick Mathews (concussion), Jordan Tripp (Concussion), and Don Barclay (Ankle).

Dean Lowry, Vince Biegel, and Montravius Adams were also out of practice and are all likely to miss the rest of training camp and potentially the season opener.

Packers’ Damarious Randall responds to Philly’s Bryce Treggs ‘dirty’ block

Cornerback Damarious Randall got hit with a crackback block by Philadelphia wide receiver Bryce Treggs in Green Bay’s preseason opener, suffering a concussion that has sidelined him for more than a week. Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy thought the hit was illegal and submitted it to the NFL for review. It appears the league was in agreement, apparently fining Treggs $25,000 for the hit on Monday, leading the second-year player out of California to express his frustration with the amount on Twitter.

“I made league minimum last year and I just got fine 25K,” Treggs wrote. “I’m starting a gofundme (account) to pay it.”

Randall was in no mood to feel sorry for Treggs, responding with a tweet of his own.

“(Your) broke ass shouldn’t play dirty then,” the third-year cornerback tweeted.

Treggs, though not in direct response to Randall, tweeted he didn’t view the block as dirty.

“As an undrafted guy fighting for a roster spot, you’re always trying to stand out on film. A lot of y’all don’t understand that,” he wrote. “My assignment was a force block on that play and I was trying to put a physical play on film. Nothing dirty about trying to earn a job.”

Packers believe hits on Randall, Dupre were illegal

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers cornerback Damarious Randall and receiver Malachi Dupre left Thursday night’s preseason game against the Eagles after being aggressively tackled. And now coach Mike McCarthy is challenging the legality of those hits.

During a running play in the first quarter, Randall was hit in the side of the head on a crack block by Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs. That hit did not result in a penalty for Treggs, but Randall was ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion.

A more serious injury was endured by Dupre, the seventh-round draft pick out of LSU. During the fourth quarter, he was leveled by a hit from Tre Sullivan that resulted in Dupre being carted off the field on a stretcher. He posted his status from a hospital later that night.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes those hits were illegal, telling reporters Friday afternoon that tape of the plays have been submitted to the NFL to review their legality.

“Obviously, player safety is at the forefront of that,” McCarthy began. “…and when you see things like those two hits last night, they’re definitely of concern in the area of player safety.”

“If I turned them into the league, I don’t think they’re legal hits.”

The NFL could determine Dupre was a defenseless receiver on the play, a penalty that carries a minimum fine of $24,309 if the league finds Sullivan at fault. It’s uncertain how long it will take before the Packers hear back on the result of the review.

Damarious Randall added to Packers injury report

ARLINGTON, Tex. — Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall was added to the injury report Saturday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s NFC divisional game with the Dallas Cowboys with a foot injury.

Randall was listed as questionable, but because he hadn’t appeared on the injury report all week, it’s presumed he did something in Saturday’s practice to either injure or re-aggravate the foot. Randall has struggled with nagging injuries all season and was dealing with a knee injury last week heading into the wild card game against the New York Giants.

The news could put further stress on a banged up Packers secondary against one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. Dallas was ranked fifth in the league this season in total offensive yardage, but most of that was due to the ground game. Dallas’ passing offense ranks 23rd at 226.9 yards per game. The Packers passing defense, however, ranked 31 out of 32 teams, allowing an average of 269.2 yards per game.

Packers’ LB Clay Matthews won’t play vs Tennessee, other injury updates

A hamstring injury will keep linebacker Clay Matthews from playing in Green Bay’s matchup with Tennessee on Sunday.

That was the word from Packers coach Mike McCarthy when he met with the media Friday morning.

“We’re going to list Clay as out this week,” McCarthy said. “(He’s) making progress, (but) he won’t be available this week.”

This will be the third-straight game Matthews has missed due to the injury. He’ll be replaced by veteran Julius Peppers.

Also, McCarthy said running back James Starks and tight end Jared Cook have looked good this week, but it’s still unclear if either will play against the Titans.

Starks has missed the last month following knee surgery, while Cook hasn’t played since Week 3 when he suffered a high ankle sprain.

“James is very close,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see how Jared is coming Saturday.”

McCarthy believes that cornerback Damarious Randall has a chance to play after missing the last three games with a leg injury, while he anticipates wide receiver Randall Cobb not being limited at all after being used sparingly a week ago in a loss to the Colts because of a hamstring injury.

“It’s better than last week, so that’s an improvement,” McCarthy said of the injury list. “We’re getting healthier and that’s important. But frankly, the focus is on finalizing the preparation for the Titans.”

Damarious Randall to miss time after groin surgery

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers cornerback Damarious Randall injured his groin last Sunday in the loss to the Cowboys and has reportedly undergone surgery over the weekend.

Sources don’t expect the procedure to end Randall’s season but he will remain out for “a few more weeks.”

In four games this season, Randall logged 13 tackles and one interception. In his 2015 rookie season, Randall recorded 53 total tackles with three interceptions over nine games.

Green Bay will not have cornerback Sam Shields for a 3rd straight game

The Green Bay Packers will be without their top cornerback for a third straight game.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday morning that Sam Shields will not play against the New York Giants as he remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Shields hasn’t practiced since suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter of Green Bay’s win over Jacksonville on Sept. 11. It was his fourth head injury since coming into the league from Miami in 2010.

Reports have indicated that Shields is expected to be able to return to the field at some point this year, and that this latest setback won’t end his career.

Without Shields, the Packers have asked second-year cornerback Damarious Randall to ascend to the No. 1 role, and he’s struggled at times. Last year’s first-round pick was responsible for much of the damage done by Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs and Detroit’s Marvin Jones, each of whom went for more than 180 yards receiving in their matchups with Green Bay.

Things don’t get any easier for Randall and the other young members of the Packers secondary, as the Giants bring a talented trio of wide receivers to town this Sunday in the form of Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Sheppard.

The Packers are focusing on Beckham Jr’s skills, not his emotions

Almost everyone in the NFL has voiced their opinion on the talented, but emotionally explosive, Odell Beckham Jr. this week after the New York Giants wide receiver had a near meltdown during a game for a second straight week. But despite his team facing Beckham this week on Sunday Night Football, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy had no interest in the discussion.

“I don’t really have an opinion on it,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “There’s always a huge gap between perception and reality. I’m not really here to fill that gap. Emotion is a big part of the game of football. It’s important.”

Beckham has become known as much for his breath-taking catches as for his fragile psyche in his three seasons in the NFL. Though there have been incidents throughout that time, the past two weeks have increased the scrutiny on the former LSU star.

In Week 3 against the Washington Redskins, a camera caught a distraught Beckham hitting a kickers net with his helmet, which backfired when the metal structure fell and hit him in the head. Then on Monday, against the Minnesota Vikings, Beckham received an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting and was nearly thrown out of the game for bumping an official. He finished the night with just 23 yards receiving, the lowest total of his career.

“We’re focused on the video,” McCarthy answered when asked if they take into account what Beckham’s mental state is. “What each players’ strengths are and how we feel they’re going to utilize them against us. Really focusing on our schemes. It’s an excellent receiver group. No doubt about it. They’re explosive. That’s what we’re focused on.”

And that’s where the Packers focus should be. With cornerback Sam Shields sidelined by a concussion the last two games, the No. 1 wide receiver for the other team has torn them up. First it was Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs going for 182 yards on nine catches in Week 2, which was followed by the Detroit Lions’ Marvin Jones grabbing six passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

With Shields out, the Packers first-round pick from a year ago, Damarious Randall, has been asked to step into that No. 1 cornerback role and it hasn’t been pretty, as he’s been targeted time and time again the last two games. So with a talent like Beckham coming to town, he, like McCarthy, had no interest in discussing anything other than the challenge he presents as a wide receiver.

“He’s a great, great receiver,” Randall said. “I don’t know about all the off the field and the emotional things you’re talking about. Just by me watching the film, he’s a great route runner. He’s a top five receiver in this league.”

That’s probably true, but the 23-year-old is also one of the league’s more combustible players. And while the Packers have several emotional players, chief among them defensive end Mike Daniels, there is a line when it comes to that type of stuff and you don’t want to cross it.

“We love the energy and the emotion and the passion out there,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “You just can’t let it affect your team in a negative way.”