Packers Daily Links: Underwood Has Sprained Knee

Safety Brandon Underwood according to head coach Mike McCarthy. That and more in today's Daily Links...

Safety Brandon Underwood has a sprained knee and will miss a couple weeks of action. "Underwood, a third-year player who spent most of his first two seasons at cornerback, injured his right knee on the 11th play of a 19-play practice Saturday night at Lambeau Field as he raced in to help bring down Ryan Grant," writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As a guy who was on the fence to make the roster to begin with, an injury like this only decreases his chances of making the team. In other injury news, tackle Marshall Newhouse reportedly suffered a shoulder sprain and wide receiver Brett Swain has a hamstring issue, the extent of both injuries is still unknown.

Sloppy play was the theme of Monday's training camp practice with more fumbles, dropped passes and penalties than head coach Mike McCarthy was comfortable with. "Three fumbles – two by James Starks, one by Ryan Grant – had the coach in no mood for praising his group," writes Jason Wilde of "The tandem’s final two fumbles came in an 11-on-11 backed-up drill and led to them both being benched in favor of Alex Green and Dimitri Nance. Grant fumbled on a first-and-10 run from his own 1-yard line, while Starks’fumble was on second-and-8 from his own 5-yard line." Tight end Jermichael Finley also notably dropped a pass in the end zone last night.

More on yesterday's error-filled practice appears in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Packer Report, the Associated Press and JSOnline.

Linebacker Erik Walden is the subject of a feature by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who writes that Walden looks to be ahead in the race to become a starter. "Locked in a three-way battle with Frank Zombo and Brad Jones - both of whom started games at the position before Walden took over - Walden has been the one who has charged out of the gate first," writes Silverstein. It's noted that nearly every practice Walden does something that sparks a loud and positive response from outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene.

The possibility of contract extensions are discussed by Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "This summer, the late start to the league year has delayed deals for veterans in line for extension, but those signings will begin soon," writes Demovsky. "In fact, Packers are expected to begin preliminary talks with several agentsthis week." As expected, Demovsky mentions Josh Sitton, Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson as the players most likely to receive extensions.

Cornerback Pat Lee is the focus of an article by Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in whichcornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. was also interviewed. "He's had his best camp since I've been here," said Whitt. "He has turned the corner. I've been very pleased with his approach in the classroom and very pleased with his approach on the field. His technique is better. If he just continues to keep doing what he's been doing, he's going to give himself a great opportunity to climb up that ladder." Lee points out that he's just trying to stay injury free, and considering his previous training camps, that's a pretty good goal.

The solid play of defensive lineman B.J. Raji hasn't gone unnoticed by Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. "Now through a week of training camp, there’s every reason to think Raji will be at least as important the 2011 Packers," writes Dougherty, referencing Raji's importance last season. "The 25-year-old nose tackle and inside pass rusher has been one of the team’s best performers in 11-on-11 drills, and in one-on-one pass-rushing he’s been at times dominant, including winning the occasional snap against backup guards while barely being touched." Raji's presence as an interior pass rusher will be important this season without Cullen Jenkins beside him.

There's a battle for the open starting position at left guard, and T.J. Lang isn't letting up despite not working with the starters so far at camp. "T.J. Lang isn’t conceding anything," writes Jason Wilde. "That much was clear Monday from the Green Bay Packers third-year guard, who may be battling the team’s first-round pick for a starting spot but isn’t intimidated in the least." It will be interesting to see how long the Packers can hold off from allowing Lang to perform with the starters in training camp.

Another article about T.J. Lang is written by Chris Jenkins of the Associated Press.

After his interception return for a touchdown on Family Night, undrafted rookie cornerback Brandian Ross is getting some attention. "With one play, the undrafted cornerback from Youngstown State officially blipped onto the Packers’ radar," writes Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel. "That’s how it works for the undrafted rookies. Claw for reps, make a play, get noticed and do your best to take advantage of it." Don't pencil in Ross for a roster spot just yet, but his chances just got a whole lot better at least.

Brandian Ross gets equal treatment in a blog post by Jason Wilde.

Speaking of Family Night, Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal writes a column the event's shortcomings. "It's great for kids and for people who don't normally get to see the Packers in action, but the so-called scrimmage that is the centerpiece of the event has declined in quality so badly that there is little to distinguish it from any other training-camp workout that fans can watch for free on the nearby practice field," writes Oates. Where the event goes from here is uncertain.

Rookie wide receiver Diondre Borel has an article written about him at the Packers official website.

Trainig camp practice reporta are filed from Monday evening's session by Bob McGinn and Rob Demovsky.

Bob McGinn talks about winning the Dick McCann Memorial Award, which was presented to him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past weekend.

The NFL's Supplemental Draft, which the Packers can take part in if they choose, has been scheduled for August 17.

Articles on rookie outside linebacker Jamari Lattimore and training camp battles appear at Packer Report (subscription required).

Mike McCarthy's post-practice press conference is transcribed by Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette.

Contract details of several Packers, past and present, are published by the Journal Sentinel.

The Packers were the first team to kick off the NFL's new fan appreciation program.

Matt Flynn is looking forward to preseason action.

Video: Rain forced Monday's practice indoors. More from Fox 11 TV in Green Bay...

Rain sends Pack indoors to fans dismay:

Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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MarkinMadison's picture

August 09, 2011 at 08:43 am

I wouldn't have thought twice about Brandian Ross a week ago, but things sure have changed. Good play on Family Night. Good size (6'0" 191). Lots of experience at safety (3-year starter), so he has good versatility. And now Underwood is out or at least slowed down for the rest of August. Ross v. Underwood. A guy we know nothing about v. a guy we know way too much about. Ross has an opportunity.

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