Packers coach Matt LaFleur warns players to stay out of 'harm's way' during break
GREEN BAY - As part of the agreement with the players to add an extra regular-season game, the NFL removed one of the four preseason games and stipulated that teams had to give players time off during the newly created preseason bye.
It means the clubs can’t demand the players stay in town, as was the case last year during bye weeks when everyone had to test daily for COVID-19.
All but a few of his players are vaccinated, according to coach Matt LaFleur, and those that aren’t will have to stick around to get tested every day. But the rest are on their own and LaFleur told them that they must be mindful about the risks of going out in big crowds with the delta variant so widespread.
“You know, we've got a great locker room, and great leadership in there and guys that are committed to the team,” LaFleur said. “But ultimately, nobody's going to be getting babysat over the next three days. For the ones that are vaccinated, then everything's open.
“But I would just encourage everyone, not only our players, but anybody that works with football directly, not to put yourself in too much of harm's way. I'm not saying that you can't go out to dinner or anything like that. But you know, there's risk involved anytime you're out and in large gatherings.”
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LaFleur said he is aware he must take special precautions because of his position with the team and he said he has discussed things with his family about the importance of being cautious.
“With our kids going back to school, for example, certainly there's added risk with that,” LaFleur said. “And that's something that I've talked to my wife about. I am a little bit concerned with that because the last thing I want to do, No. 1, is get sick and potentially pass it on to anybody else.
“So, we're just going to kind of roll with what's in front of us right now and adjust accordingly as time goes by.”
Long snapper signed
After releasing punter JK Scott on Tuesday and trading for former Bills punter Corey Bejorquez, the Packers created some competition at another specialist position Thursday by signing long snapper Steven Wirtel to their practice squad.
Wirtel signed with the Detroit Lions coming out of Iowa State in 2020 and spent the season on their practice squad. Wirtel also spent time this year with the Los AngeleRams.
To make room for Wirtel on the practice squad, the Packers released defensive lineman Willington Previlon.