Michael Cohen and Aaron Nagler gave their initial takeaways from Monday's training camp practice. (Aug. 7, 2017) USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers experienced a bit of serendipity during the offseason when their desperate need for a cornerback aligned with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ decision to release Davon House, a player the Packers drafted in 2011.
Now, as the first exhibition game approaches, House’s familiarity with the Packers might pay off again as he nurses an injured hamstring.
House was sidelined Monday after his right hamstring tightened up during the team’s annual practice at Lambeau Field over the weekend. He told reporters the plan is to take things on a daily basis but that he expects to be out “for a little bit.”
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In all likelihood House will be shut down for the remainder of the week — missing Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles — and reevaluated after the weekend.
“Just felt my hamstring grab a little bit,” House said. “Just trying to be smart. Week 1 is a month away. I don’t want to hurt it out there at practice before the real games start. So, just trying to be safe and take it day by day.
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. My rookie year I pulled my left side, and that was really bad. But this is not even close to it.”
With his timetable unclear, House’s prior experience with the Packers is something of a blessing. He already feels comfortable with the intricacies of defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ system in large part because he’s played for Capers before. Had the Packers brought in a different veteran corner — perhaps one from outside their draft tree — the learning curve would have been steeper and missed practices more costly.
“The system is easy,” House said “ … The main thing I would be missing is trying to get better, taking reps against the ones and things to make me better. It sucks that I can’t do that. Continue to work on my press game, my off game, it sucks that I won’t be able to do that. The mental reps were there with the walkthroughs, studying the film is still going to be there. But like I said, just trying to take it day by day and see what happens.
“I don’t want to miss no games, but the main goal is the games that count. But I don’t want to miss no preseason game because that’s what is going to get me prepared for the real games, you know what I mean?”
House’s absence, however long, will create more opportunities for Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and, most importantly, rookie second-round pick Kevin King. Randall filled House’s spot in the base defense Monday opposite Rollins, and King joined them as the third cornerback in the first-team nickel defense. With House out, LaDarius Gunter moves up to fourth on the depth chart.
Still, House would like to return quickly in order to build on-field chemistry with young members of the secondary who weren’t in Green Bay during his first tenure with the organization.
“It’s going to be important, too, taking reps with (Damarious Randall), taking reps with Ha Ha (Clinton-Dix) and seeing how they work, working with Morgan again. All those things are important for me right now since I’m not in there.
“The only way you’re going to get better is taking live reps. … So it sucks I’ll be missing that stuff, but the walkthroughs and everything like that will still be there for me.”