Defensive lineman Mike Neal hasn't practice since Aug. 16 but hopes to be ready for the regular season opener against the New Orleans Saints. “I’m on good time right now to be ready for the first game,” Neal told Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, “and that’s probably where we’re going to lay our money right now, to be ready for the first game. I feel good.” Though there is still one last training camp practice today before the preseason finale, it is doubtful Mike Neal gives it a go. He will more than likely be held out in an attempt to get him ready for the regular season.
The lack of passes thrown wide receiver James Jones' way this exhibition season is examined by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "In three preseason games, Jones has caught one pass for 14 yards," writes Silverstein. "In those three games, he has been targeted a grand total of two times, zero in consecutive games against the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts." On top of it, Jones is now dealing with a bruised knee that may or may not keep him out of Thursday's game against the Chiefs.
Aaron Rodgers is being called a "good bet" to sit out of Thursday's preseason game. "Rodgers sat out practice Monday because of what coach Mike McCarthy described as a 'foot strain,'" writes Pete Dougherty. "McCarthy characterized the injury as minor and would not reveal whether Rodgers will play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against Kansas City, but it’s worth remembering that Rodgers was a healthy scratch from last year’s preseason finale." I do not like the practice of "healthy scratches." Fans pay good money to watch preseason games. They deserve to see the star of the show, even if it's only for one series and all he does is hand off.
The undrafted rookie outside linebackers, Vic So'oto and Jamari Lattimore, are featured in an article by Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "Despite moving from defensive ends in college to outside linebackers in a 3-4 scheme, both players made noise during last Friday’s 24-21 win over the Indianapolis Colts," writes Hodkiewicz. Both are battling for their roster lives in the final week of training camp.
More on Vic So'oto and how he landed in Green Bay is written by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Meanwhile, fellow rookie outside linebacker Ricky Elmore is hanging on by a thread. "It's hard to imagine Elmore as the odd man out given Thompson's track record of keeping his draft picks," writes Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel. "But with the cut to 80 due at 3 p.m. Tuesday and the final cut to 53 due at 5 p.m. Saturday, the evidence is against him." I wonder if a trade to a 4-3 team is in order.
The tight end position and the previously unthinkable notion that the Packers could keep five of them this season is tackled by Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette. One thing is for sure, they won't keep three fullbacks anymore. "That might give Thompson the luxury of keeping all five tight ends around," writes Demovsky. "He released veteran Spencer Havner on Sunday, presumably so he could take a long look at the foursome behind Finley in Thursday’s preseason finale against Kansas City at Lambeau Field." Forced to guess, I'd say yes, all five tight ends make the cut.
Wide receiver Chastin West's mother will be attending Thursday's game. "Receiver Chastin West said Monday his mother — who has told him before she won’t see him play until he 'gets good' — plans on making the trip to Lambeau Field on Sept. 8," writes Tyler Dunne of JSOnline. "For so long, it's been West's goal to succeed for her, to win her over at each level." For the widout on the roster bubble, it's a feel good story no matter what happens to him.
More on Chastin West comes from Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel.
Interviews with Charles Woodson, Morgan Burnett and Josh Gordy are up at PackersNews.com.
James Starks has been getting reps as the third-down back.
Head coach Mike McCarthy shortened Monday's practice.
Tough decisions will be made at some of the skill positions.
D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor share a rental car.
The NFL's official website has a season preview on the Packers.
Football Outsiders' Mike Tanier is interviewed about the Packers at AllGreenBayPackers.com.
Video: The tourism aspect of training camp is covered by WBAY-TV in Green Bay...
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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