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Packers preparing for some 'Hard Knocks' in exhibition against Raiders

Jim Owczarski
Packers News

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Green Bay Packers traveled to Canada on Wednesday in advance of their third preseason contest against the Oakland Raiders, but while the Raiders are having their every move documented by the HBO series “Hard Knocks,” the Packers will only be making a cameo on game day.

Cameras will not be chronicling any part of the Packers’ trip other than when they are on IG Field with Jon Gruden’s team – including wide receiver Antonio Brown. After missing much of training camp with a foot injury and a helmet grievance, Brown did make the trip.

Antonio Brown puts on his regulation football helmet alongside coach Jon Gruden before the preseason game against the Cardinals.

“I’m pretty sure our guys watch ‘Hard Knocks’ on Tuesday and they’ll definitely be like, aw man, we’ll be on ‘Hard Knocks,’” Packers corner Tramon Williams said before the team left Wisconsin. “It is what it is. It’s not like we don’t play on Sundays. We’re on TV all the time. It’s nothing new. It’s not about the Green Bay Packers, it’s about the Oakland Raiders anyway. It should be fun.”

Field reportedly ready

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said the team’s travel and football logistics man Matt Klein would head to Canada early to inspect the team’s accommodations and facility, but neither LaFleur nor Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst expressed any real concern over the playing surface at IG Field.

According to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press on Wednesday, the six-year-old stadium had its surface approved by the National Football League’s Super Bowl field director Ed Mangan. NFL-regulation goal posts were anchored in on Monday and the asphalt perimeter that usually surrounds the field was covered with turf per NFL field regulations.

“All the reports I’ve gotten have been positive,” Gutekunst said on Tuesday. “I know the NFL has people out there, has had people out there and they’ve made some changes to make sure it’s NFL, those kind of things, logistics. I’ve heard good things, but obviously, once we get down there we’ll take a long hard look at it. We’re not going to put our players in danger if we think if it’s unsafe. But I think it’s only two years old, so I think it’s a pretty new surface.”