The biggest news of the day was the absence of center Evan Dietrich-Smith and what that means at a position without a lot of proven depth behind the starter.
Mike McCarthy also acknowledged that even though running back DuJuan Harris had returned to practice this week following his return from a knee injury, he would not play on Saturday against the St. Louis Rams.
Here’s the report on the rest of the walking wounded in Green Bay…
Dropping Out of Practice
Center Evan Dietrich-Smith, toe
Commentary: McCarthy said it was a surprise to him that Dietrich-Smith was missing from practice, but did not know whether “EDS” would miss the second preseason game. Greg Van Roten will be the backup for the time being, but there is obvious concern for the No. 1 offensive line and quarterback Aaron Rodgers if Dietrich-Smith were to miss any lengthy amount of time with an injury.
Cornerback Sam Shields, indigestion
Commentary: McCarthy actually made a bathroom humor joke, essentially indicating that Shields had indigestion and later relieved himself, which was the cause of Shields dropping out of practice and being replaced by rookie Micah Hyde at one of the starting cornerback positions. It doesn’t sound as if anything is wrong with Shields, however.
Returning to Practice
Running back James Starks, stomach illness
Commentary: After missing one day of practice due to an illness, Starks was back at practice on Thursday, reportedly working with the starters. While Eddie Lacy figures to see playing time for the first time this preseason on Saturday, Harris remains out. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Starks share time with the starters against the Rams.
Offensive lineman Andrew Datko, concussion
Commentary: Datko missed the first preseason game, so it looks like he’ll see game action for the first time in 2013 on Saturday. The Packers could use the help on the offensive line after three players had to play 54 snaps each in the first preseason game, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Datko figures to help take at least a few of those away.
The following players’ status hasn’t changed (anticipated return in parentheses):
- Wide receiver Jordy Nelson, knee (regular-season opener)
- Wide receiver Randall Cobb, biceps (presumably day to day)
- Defensive lineman Datone Jones, ankle (a couple days)
- Cornerback Casey Hayward, hamstring (a couple weeks, as of 7/26)
- Cornerback Tramon Williams, knee (a couple weeks, as of 7/30)
- Offensive lineman Derek Sherrod, leg (undetermined, on his “last hurdle,” according to McCarthy)
- Wide receiver Charles Johnson, knee (undetermined)
- Tight end Andrew Quarless, quad (undetermined)
- Safety Sean Richardson, neck (undetermined)
- Defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, knee (undetermined)
- Offensive lineman J.C. Tretter, ankle (regular season at the earliest)