Packers’ safety Darnell Savage anxious to get back on the field

GREEN BAY — Darnell Savage wants to be on the practice field, but it remains unclear when the Green Bay Packers safety will be.

The second of two first-round picks by the team in April, Savage had surgery to remove one of his wisdom teeth early last week. He was placed on the non-football illness list and hasn’t practiced the first three days of training camp.

“Everybody recovers differently,” Savage said after Saturday’s practice. “It’s different for everyone. I think I’m coming along well.”

Savage had been running with the starting defense since the first OTA practice open to the media in May. Paired with free agent addition Adrian Amos, the 21-year-old Savage is a major part of a new-look back end of the Packers secondary.

“It’s definitely tough. I love football. It’s always tough having to sit out with any injury,” Savage said. “(But) I’m just trying to focus on the things I can control. I can’t dwell on (not being out there) or beat myself up about that. It’s just bad timing, my wisdom teeth acting up at a bad time. But it’s out now, and I’m on the ups and feeling good.”

Despite not being on the field, the Maryland product is keeping up on the things he can do.

“I’ve always had a football mind, trying to soak up all the knowledge I can,” Savage said. “I’m still in the meeting rooms, still getting my mental reps, so I’m still involved.”

With Savage out, second-year safety Raven Greene has been running with Amos as part of the first-team defense.

Packers add former Wisconsin DL Olive Sagapolu

GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers have added another former Wisconsin player to their roster.

It was announced Friday morning that the team had signed defensive lineman Olive Sagapolu. That came about a half hour after Sagapolu was spotted taking part in the second practice of training camp.

“It was exciting and kind of surprising,” Sagapolu told reporters afterwards. “As a guy playing at Wisconsin, you hear a lot about Green Bay. Being out here with the organization, it’s truly a blessing.”

It was also an unexpected one. Sagapolu went undrafted in April and wasn’t signed after taking part in the Miami Dolphins rookie minicamp in May. He’d had a couple recent workouts, including with the Detroit Lions, but it wasn’t until the Packers reached out to his agent that he found an NFL home.

“I’m still kind of in the moment. It’s still surreal,” Sagapolu said. “I still look at my phone. A lot of family members texting me, ‘good job, congrats.’ A lot of friends saying ‘congrats.’”

This wasn’t how many saw Sagapolu’s career playing out. He entered 2018 as one of the leaders of a Badgers defense that had been among the best in the country during his first three years on campus. But a mix of injuries and inexperience saw the unit take a step back.

Then, in a game against Northwestern in late October, Sagapolu suffered a torn rotator cuff that would end his season. Surgery would follow in November and he started what would be a long rehab that doctors told him would last a year. It left him unable to take part in the draft process and he estimated he’s about 85- to 90-percent healthy.

Sagapolu joins former teammate Natrell Jamerson on the Packers 90-man roster. It also means that nine of the starters on Wisconsin’s 2017 defense that helped the Badgers to a 13-1 record are now on NFL rosters.

“They need to look out for us. That’s what it says,” Jamerson said of the stat. “Especially the time I was there, all the guys I played with, we bring something different. Lot of teams are starting to see that.”

Former Packers DL Mike Daniels will reportedly sign with Detroit

Aaron Rodgers said Thursday he was hoping not to face former teammate Mike Daniels this season. The Green Bay Packers quarterback will now see him twice.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the defensive lineman has decided to stay in the NFC North and sign with the Detroit Lions. It’s reportedly a one-year deal worth $7.8 million guaranteed and as much as $9.1 million. Daniels was due to make $8.2 million with the Packers before being cut.

General manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters Wednesday that the team tried to trade Daniels before cutting him, but that talks had broken down. Once he hit the open market, though, teams were all over him. NFLNetwork’s Ian Rapoport reported that 13 teams approached Daniels and four made better offers to him then Detroit. But the former fourth-round pick wanted to play for second-year coach Matt Patricia and stay in the division.

The Packers will see Daniels in Green Bay on Oct. 14, with the game in Detroit coming Dec. 29.

Packers reportedly set to cut DL Mike Daniels

The Green Bay Packers are cutting ties with one of their more well-known players.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the club is cutting defensive lineman Mike Daniels.

The former Pro Bowl selection was entering the final year of a four-year contract extension he signed prior to the 2016 season. He was due to count around $10.7 million against the salary cap this year. By cutting him, the team saves $8.3 million.

Daniels struggled with injuries the last two seasons, missing eight games, including six last year. He finished with just two sacks and only one tackle for loss after posting five sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 2017.

A fourth-round pick in 2012 out of Iowa, Daniels was held out of all the team’s OTAs and its mandatory minicamp as he rehabbed a foot injury that ended his 2018 season.

The cutting of Daniels is just the latest reshaping of a defense that looks drastically different than a year ago. Among those gone include Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Muhammad Wilkerson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Kentrell Brice and Jermaine Whitehead.

Green Bay opens training camp tomorrow morning.

DE Dean Lowry earns contract extension from Packers

Dean Lowry is getting rewarded just as training camp is set to get going.

The Green Bay Packers announced Tuesday afternoon that they had given the defensive lineman a contract extension. The deal, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, is for three years and $20.325 million.

A fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Lowry had his best season a year ago. Playing in all 16 games, including eight starts, he set career highs in tackles (57) and sacks (3), while tying a career high in tackles for loss (5).

The Northwestern product has become a solid contributor for the Packers and one they’ve been able to count on week-to-week. He’s missed just one game of a possible 48 in his first three years.

Lowry was entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract and was set to make $2.025 million.

Green Bay can now shift its focus to getting a new deal done for fellow defensive lineman Kenny Clark. The Packers picked up the option on his rookie deal, meaning he’s got two years left.

Packers’ rookie Darnell Savage placed on non-football illness list

The Green Bay Packers could be without one of their two first-round picks when training camp opens on Thursday.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, safety Darnell Savage has been placed on the NFL non-football illness list. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports Savage had his wisdom teeth removed.

The news comes the same day the Packers rookies reported for training camp and took their physicals. The veterans will join them Wednesday, with the first practice slated for Thursday morning.

Green Bay has a lot invested in Savage. GM Brian Gutekunst moved up in April’s NFL Draft to select the Maryland product with the 21st pick of the first round. Throughout offseason workouts, Savage lined up with free agent addition Adrian Amos as the new starters on the backend of the Packers defense.

If Savage misses any practice time, young players like Raven Greene and former Wisconsin standout Natrell Jamerson would figure to see increased reps.

Packers ratings in Madden NFL 20 released

On Monday morning, EA Sports released the initial ratings for Madden NFL 20. Many Green Bay Packers’ fans will be happy to see some well-deserved ratings, but one is a head-scratcher.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari leads the way for the Green and Gold with an overall rating of 97. It’s the highest rating for any offensive lineman in the game.

Wide receiver Davante Adams ranks second on the team with an overall rating of 92. He ranks ninth among the league’s wide receivers.

Following Bakhtiari and Adams, the Packers have a pair of players tied for third with a 90 overall rating | defensive tackle Kenny Clark and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers was rated 99 in last year’s Madden. After a sub-par, for his standards, 2018 it’s not surprising EA Sports would decrease his rating, but this may be too much. No quarterback received a 99 rating in Madden 20. Patrick Mahomes is the highest rated signal caller with a rating of 97. Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are also rated higher than Rodgers.

As for Clark, he is the fifth-highest-ranked defensive tackle in the game and is 10th among all defensive lineman.

Check out the ratings for the entire Packers roster here.

Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling training with Randy Moss

Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling is working out with a former enemy of the team. Randy Moss used to burn the Packers when he played for the Minnesota Vikings, but he could help Green Bay this season.

Valdes-Scantling said he’s been training every week this offseason with Moss.

“We train Monday through Thursdays,” Valdes-Scantling said during an appearance on NFL Network. “He’s teaching me the game. He’s a 14-year [veteran], Hall of Famer. Couldn’t ask for a better mentor to go out and teach you how to be a great wide receiver.”

Aaron Rodgers is looking for another option other than Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams and Valdes-Scantling is set up to step into that role.

Brett Favre on that Instagram post: ‘I was hacked’

VERONA, Wis. — Brett Favre was not amused by someone hacking his Instagram account last week.

Speaking prior to play in the celebrity foursome at the American Family Insurance Championship, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback confirmed that a post last week declaring he was returning to the NFL in 2020 did not come from him.

“I got hacked, absolutely,” Favre said Saturday. “Somebody obviously doesn’t have a lot to do. The last thing I want to do is stir the pot. That’s the last thing I want to do is come back and play. No offense, it was fun then.”

Favre paused and then added, “I’m not coming back.”

The post came last week and was deleted within 40 minutes or so. No one took it seriously, though you might be able to excuse someone if they did. Favre said he was done playing three different times — following the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons — only to end up playing another year. This would have been different though. He’ll turn 50 in October and hasn’t played in a game since 2010.

That’s not to say he’s not in good enough shape to do it.

“I saw him, I think, just like two weeks ago and I remarked about how he looked like he could still play,” Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt joked Friday. “I didn’t think he was going to take it seriously.”

Packers waive recently acquired TE

That was quick.

New Green Bay Packers tight end Michael Roberts is no longer a member of the team.

Days after claiming him on waivers from Detroit, the club has reportedly released him after he failed his physical. It’s the same thing that negated a trade from the Lions to New England last week. When that happened, Detroit cut him outright.

Roberts played in 23 games over the past two years for the Lions. He caught 13 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns.

His departure leaves the Packers with six tight ends on their roster.