Green & Gold


15 Packers vets excused from camp

A familiar face was missing in the gym when quarterback Brett Hundley went for a workout.

It was a little odd not having Aaron Rodgers around while most of the rest of the Green Bay Packers were toiling away at minicamp.

He’s no high-profile holdout — Rodgers has been excused, along with 14 other Packers veterans, from minicamp this week. It is part of coach Mike McCarthy’s plan to give some of the team’s key older players some extra rest with a longer-than-usual training camp coming up in July.

“Yeah, I felt really lonely. Usually (Rodgers and I) will work out together, and I didn’t have my guy right there next to me. So, pretty lonely,” Hundley said, tongue-in-cheek.

Coaches will harp on the work that the team has already gone through earlier in the offseason program, so minicamp is “obviously tailored toward our younger players,” McCarthy said Tuesday.


Shields making way back from concussion

Sam Shields has played through an injured shoulder, an injured calf, a hurt shin and injured ankles — twice.

He’s survived the dreaded hamstring injury and has banged up his knee, but in 90 NFL games in six NFL seasons, the Green Bay cornerback says the worst injury he’s ever had was a concussion.

Shields explained this after an off-season practice this week — making it the first time he’s talked extensively in months about his injury and recovery. The concussion he suffered on Dec. 13 in the Packers game against Dallas caused him to black out on the field and caused headaches so bad that he missed three regular-season games at the end of the 2015 season and the NFC Wild Card game on Jan. 10.

“When I went out there to try to work out at first, I still felt it in my head,” Shields said. “Just running, doing physical things, your brain’s moving. That’s your head, your brain. It’s real scary.”


Source: Cook has foot surgery

The Green Bay Packers appear to be playing it safe with a minor injury to new acquisition Jared Cook.

The tight end had minor foot surgery that will keep him out for the rest of offseason workouts, a person familiar with the injury told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not released details of the injury.

The procedure was considered preventative and Cook should be ready when training camp begins in late July. first reported Cook’s injury. The person said Cook could have played through it if the Packers were in season.

Cook signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with Green Bay after spending the last three seasons with St. Louis. He had 39 catches for 481 yards last season and did not catch a touchdown.


Cobb eager to rebound after subpar season

Randall Cobb can’t prove it, but he believes wearing a microphone during the Packers’ playoff game at Arizona led to the punctured lung that knocked him out of the season-ending defeat.

“I’ll never be mic’d up again,” Cobb said following Thursday’s workouts.

During the first quarter of the game against the Cardinals, Cobb made a leaping catch and landed on his back. A penalty eliminated the 49-yard gain and Cobb was taken to a hospital, where he stayed overnight.

“I’ve never had a problem with it before,” Cobb said. “Possibly, it was just the way I landed. I landed flush on my back with the battery pack on. You probably won’t land too often like that but unfortunately the one time I did, I had a bad injury from it.”


Recognized off field, Barrington key to team’s plans

Steadying himself on a boat, Sam Barrington gripped tightly on the fishing rod and went to work last month.

Snaring a 400-pound shark isn’t exactly child’s play. By comparison, tackling a 220-pound NFL running back would seemingly be an easy catch for the Green Bay inside linebacker.

Between the fish stories and his acclaimed charitable contributions, Barrington has had a memorable year off the field. On the field, there is plenty of time for Barrington to prove how much he has recovered from a right foot injury that sidelined him for most of last season.

“I’m on path with everything they’ve got lined up for me,” Barrington said this week when asked if he’d be ready for minicamp next month. “I’m just grateful that I haven’t had any setbacks.”


Time running out for Kuhn deal

There remains “mutual interest” between the Green Bay Packers and fullback John Kuhn for the 2016 season, but no definitive date for when a deal might be made, according to an NFL source.

Conversations are ongoing between the Packers and their three-time Pro Bowl fullback. The door remains open that Kuhn could play a 10th season with the Packers this fall, even though he remains unsigned with organized team activities looming.

While the Packers have moved on from other free agents such as receiver James Jones and outside linebacker Mike Neal, Kuhn’s locker remains intact inside Lambeau Field. Kuhn, who turns 34 in September, has been working out daily and hopes to play at least one more season with the Packers, the source said.


More homework for Packers' 1st-round pick

Packers first-round draft pick Kenny Clark will have more homework to do as he finishes up classes at UCLA.

The defensive tackle won’t be able to start his new career full-time in Green Bay until classes back in Los Angeles finish up next month. He was just starting to read up on the playbook, too, during the team’s two-day rookie orientation camp last week.

“I think probably the playbook and getting the playbook down and just trying to learn things on the fly,” Clark said about the toughest part of the rookie learning curve.

Not that Clark minds going back to school, either. His goal is to graduate, which the junior estimated will take another year, at least, to accomplish.

Professionally, the goal is to help fill the gap in the middle of the left by the departure of run-stuffer B.J. Raji. The veteran said earlier in the offseason that he was taking a one-year “hiatus” from the game.


Packers’ brawny rookie class arrives

Coach Mike McCarthy got his first look Friday at all the brawny rookies drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

“Yes, they’re as big as we thought they were. It’s confirmed, yes,” McCarthy joked.

But they’re not quite NFL ready. Luckily, Friday was just the first day of the Packers’ rookie orientation camp.

It’s the first time to run through the playbook, the first time to make a good impression on McCarthy while wearing a green and gold uniform. And getting the “wow” moments out of the way, like having a locker in the same room as two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Honestly I wasn’t expecting to have a locker right by everybody else,” offensive tackle Jason Spriggs said.

The second-round selection is one of the bigger draft picks out of the Packers’ seven-player bunch. Listed at 6-foot-6, 301 pounds, Spriggs fits a need to replenish offensive line depth, as well as McCarthy’s desire to add more bulk to the team.


To Packers, ‘16 draft class — here’s to your health

The world of sports can mirror some of life’s firm injunctions, such as getting out what you put in, or that no one is immune to the random slip-up.

In the National Basketball Association, the Golden State Warriors and their fans learned that a wet spot on the floor could end up being the deciding factor in this year’s championship, and whether their historic regular season is reduced to a footnote.

The Warriors’ Steph Curry, the reigning league MVP, slipped on a damp area of the court and injured his knee during his team’s first-round series against Houston, thus hanging a massive question mark over Golden State’s postseason hopes.


Packers focus on bulk in NFL draft

Packers focus on bulk and add inside linebacker in NFL draft
GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Coach Mike McCarthy sought size at the line of scrimmage. General manager Ted Thompson drafted bulk.

Four linemen, two on each side of the ball, taken by the Green Bay Packers in the NFL draft this weekend should satisfy the coach.

"I think first off when you look at the big men that have been drafted, there's definitely, in my opinion, a desire to get bigger. So we've accomplished that," McCarthy said Saturday after the Packers made the last of their seven picks this weekend.

Fittingly, that man was 6-foot-7, 301-pound left tackle Kyle Murphy, who was taken in the sixth round. He joins 6-7, 305-pound Jason Spriggs in the Packers' draft class, a left tackle from Indiana selected in the second round on Friday.


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