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Newhouse, Jennings slowed by concussions

Aug. 6, 2012
 

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Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings' Family Night scrimmage started with a Lambeau Leap after a touchdown but ended with a concussion. / H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette

Injury report

New injuries: T Marshall Newhouse (concussion), WR Greg Jennings (concussion).

Did not participate (veteran rest): QB Aaron Rodgers, CB Jarrett Bush, DB Charles Woodson, LB A.J. Hawk, C Jeff Saturday, DL Ryan Pickett, WR Donald Driver, DL Anthony Hargrove.

Still out: G Ray Dominguez (ankle), TE D.J. Williams (back), LB Brad Jones (knee), FB Jon Hoese (hamstring), LB Frank Zombo (hamstring), DL Johnny Jones (knee), G Jaymes Brooks (hamstring), T Derek Sherrod (leg), T Mike McCabe (hip), TE Andrew Quarless (knee), TE Eric Lair (knee), DL Mike Daniels (knee, groin).

Returned: FB John Kuhn (knee), LB Desmond Bishop (calf), RB Marc Tyler (shoulder), WR Tori Gurley (groin).

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Both Green Bay Packers left tackle Marshall Newhouse and wide receiver Greg Jennings sustained concussions during Friday’s Family Night scrimmage, coach Mike McCarthy said after the team’s practice on Sunday night.

While it was widely assumed Newhouse had some type of ailment after walking off the field alongside team physician John Gray with about 10 minutes left in the scrimmage, Jennings’ injury came as more of a surprise.

Both players missed Sunday’s practice, but McCarthy wouldn’t rule either one out of Thursday’s first preseason game at San Diego.

McCarthy, however, did say offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, still recuperating from a broken leg, wouldn’t be back in time to play against the Chargers.

Bishop delighted to be back

It might have only been a week, but it sure didn’t feel like it to Desmond Bishop.

Working his way back from a calf injury, each practice the Packers linebacker was forced to watch from the sidelines this past week was longer than the next.

Until Sunday night, when Bishop made his return as a full participant during the team’s practice at Ray Nitschke Field, roughly two weeks after straining the calf while training before the start of camp.

After being relegated to the role of an observer during contact drills for the last eight practices, the 6-foot-2, 238-pound inside linebacker was more than ready to get back in the huddle.

“It definitely feels a lot longer (than a week),” said Bishop, who led the Packers with 115 tackles and five sacks in 13 starts last season but missed three games also because of calf issues.

“I’m anxious to get back out there and get out there with the guys, do little stuff, call the plays, hit a couple people, work on my technique and everything. I’m excited about it.”

This year’s calf injury caused the sixth-year veteran to fail his precamp physical and he wasn’t able to return for any positional work until last Wednesday.

In his absence, second-year linebacker D.J. Smith continued to play well and figures to have roles in the first-team nickel and dime defensive packages moving forward.

“He did really good,” Bishop said. “Very smart, instinctive, definitely reminded me a lot of myself. I just tell him, you’ve got to keep working. You get whatever you want, you’ve just have to be a little bit patient, but just keep getting better.”

Williams being cautious with back

After leaving Thursday’s practice with a back injury, tight end D.J. Williams (back) said he isn’t sure if he’ll be back or not this week.

The 6-2, 245-pound product of Arkansas got off to a hot start to his second season in Green Bay at the start of camp when starter Jermichael Finley was sidelined because of a concussion.

During the team’s first night practice, however, Williams felt a twinge in his back during an off-balance block and told the coaches and training staff, who removed him and sat him out during Friday’s Family Night scrimmage.

The Packers have eight tight ends on their 90-man roster with Andrew Quarless (knee), Eric Lair (knee) and Williams sidelined. Finley has since returned and retaken his spot in the team’s starting offense.

While the team plays it cautiously, Williams said his back is feeling better and hopes this delay doesn’t stymie the momentum he built during the first week of camp.

“It is tough,” Williams said. “I worry (about) the phrase, ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it,’ and I hope that doesn’t come into play, so I can get back out there as quickly as possible.”

The status of the other injured tight ends remains up in the air. Quarless is recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and Lair is on crutches after injuring his right knee during practice last Monday.

Lair, 22, said they’re waiting for the swelling to go down before getting an MRI, but that could come sometime in the next week. To keep up, the Minnesota alumnus has been lifting weights and staying in his playbook.

“Things are going well, the swelling has gone down pretty fast,” Lair said. “It’s a minor setback, but it happens in life. Like Coach (Mike) McCarthy said at the beginning of the season, it’s not about how you get knocked down — it’s how you get back up.”

Tyler returns with shoulder brace

There was a time when Marc Tyler couldn’t stand wearing a shoulder brace, but as an undrafted free agent trying to make the Packers’ roster, he’s making an exception.

The 5-11, 226-pound running back originally tried the device after dislocating his left shoulder during his senior year at Southern California, but found it too restricting and tended to avoid using it.

This past week, however, the injury re-emerged — this time in the form of a subplex that caused Tyler to miss three practices before returning to full pads on Sunday.

Tyler dressed for warm-ups during Friday’s Family Night in order to test the shoulder brace, but didn’t take part in the full-padded scrimmage, a move designed to not rush him back.

“It’s no fun watching, you just feel like everybody is out there working and sweating and you’re just there standing and watching,” said Tyler, who rushed for 1,751 yards and 15 touchdowns in four years at USC. “You feel like all the coaches are looking at you like, ‘Send him home.’ You feel like you’re going to get sent home any minute.”

With Tyler out and Alex Green easing back from ACL surgery, Minnesota undrafted rookie Du’ane Bennett saw increased reps over the last few days with the third-team offense.

Veterans get the night off

Eight veterans were excused from Sunday’s practice, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, wide receiver Donald Driver and defensive back Charles Woodson.

Seventh-year fullback John Kuhn also was excused, but he opted to practice after missing most of training camp with a knee injury.

Practice schedule adjusted

The Packers have switched their practice times on Aug. 12-14 to 11:15 a.m. at Ray Nitschke Field from their original times, the team announced Sunday.

The Packers’ two practices on Aug. 12 and 13 originally were scheduled for 7 p.m. Practice on Aug. 14 was shifted from 3:30 p.m.

whodkiew@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod. Mike Vandermause contributed to this report.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
573 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
854 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1013 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1270 votes

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