GREEN BAY – Barring any setbacks, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said his team is on track to enter training camp with close to a clean bill of health.
That doesn’t mean every player will be available on camp’s first day. Five weeks away, it’s still too early to predict. The Packers traditionally have been cautious at the beginning of camp, retaining players on the physically unable to perform list if there is any doubt.
But, McCarthy said, he’s pleased with the health of his football team exiting minicamp.
“I would say we’re relatively healthy for this time of year compared to prior seasons,” McCarthy said. “Going into practice, the injury conversation was rather small.”
It appears that will include center Corey Linsley, who has missed the entire offseason program after ankle surgery in February. Linsley is at minicamp rehabbing his ankle.
McCarthy was asked Thursday whether Linsley will be ready for training camp.
“I would think so,” McCarthy said. “I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be unless he has some type of setback.”
Perhaps the biggest reason it’s hard to predict the health of his football team for training camp is because setbacks are a part of this time of year. After being dismissed from minicamp, players will spend most of the next five weeks training off site to stay in shape for the end of July.
A year ago, Linsley was an example of the risks in training remotely. He tore his hamstring after minicamp, leaving him on the PUP list until Week 8.
McCarthy said he has stressed with his players the importance of training the right way while away from Lambeau Field.
“Our guys are in great shape,” McCarthy said, “especially for this time of year. So there’s really no red flags. That’s a reflection of the players’ commitment to the program. The program has been laid out the right way, and they need to take that into this five weeks.”