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Safety Morgan Burnett missed practice because of a "personal matter" on Wednesday, but his absence allowed the Green Bay Packers to tinker with a new combination in their secondary.

Micah Hyde, the team's starting nickelback, slid over to fill Burnett's void at strong safety. Hyde's spot was filled by safety Sean Richardson, who has been working into the rotation at nickelback more this preseason.

Nickelback is an interesting fit for Richardson, whose strength is defending the run. But the Packers have tried to find ways to get Richardson on the field after they matched the Oakland Raiders' $2.55 million offer sheet in April.

"It's just ways to put me out on the field," Richardson said. "They like my physicality and stuff, and I'm good in run support. So they figured, 'hey, if we can come up with a package or two for him, and get out there and showcase his talent.' I'm just trying to make myself a more complete safety and just trying to get better."

Richardson, who's most valuable on special teams, admitted it's a "learning curve" adapting to the nickelback position. It's unclear how often he'll line up there in games. Currently, second-round rookie Quinten Rollins also rotates in at nickel behind Hyde.

"It's something that I'm looking forward to," Richardson said. "I'm up for the challenge, and I'm always trying to find ways to get better and find ways to get on the field. So the more I know, the better it is."

-rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood