Packers training camp: Revisiting the positional battles
Things move quickly in training camp. After an early morning practice on Thursday the Packers will hold a night practice on Friday. Then it's the Family Night scrimmage on Saturday and six days later the Packers play their first preseason game.
For the rookies looking to hang on as long as possible now is the time to start turning heads. Already in this first week we've seen a handful of players both experienced and inexperienced make some plays. Last week we took a look at some of the key positional battles and so far the competition has been thick.
At running back DuJuan Harris finds himself on the preseason PUP list and is a few weeks away from returning. This has cleared up the backfield a little bit and has opened the door for James Starks, who looks like he's running with authority. However, we've seen this before from Starks. Somebody is going to be on the outside looking in and Starks is doing everything he can to stay in the mix.
Wide receivers Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey and Sederrik Cunningham all went down with injuries last weekend. While Johnson and Dorsey should return at some point Cunningham broke his wrist and is out for the foreseeable future. To beef up the depth the Packers signed Omarius Hines, who is also getting a look on special teams. The ability to play and contribute on special teams is going to help Hines and it could make or break a player like Jeremy Ross, who has not asserted himself as Randall Cobb's replacement. Aside from Hines the other player taking advantage of more playing time is Ty Walker. Again, Johnson and Dorsey will return but the more time they miss the less likely they are to make the team. A harsh reminder that being a draft pick doesn't guarantee you a spot on the roster.
In the secondary Micah Hyde and Loyce Means have made the most noise among the young players. Last year the Packers carried six cornerbacks and at this point four of those spots are locked up. Of course there's always the chance the Packers carry seven backs and just like the wide receiver battle the competition for those last couple of spots will go down to the wire. But with Casey Hayward and now Tramon Williams missing time the opportunity is there for guys like Hyde and Means to solidify a spot now.