Green & Gold


Lacy, offense power through Raiders

Eddie Lacy’s powerful running early on helped propel the Green Bay Packers to a 20-12 win over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

Lacy had nine carries for 45 yards, capped by a 1-yard touchdown dive on third-and-goal, to highlight a 14-play, 74-yard drive to start the game as the Packers again played without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The night was over at that point for Lacy, who made coach Mike McCarthy happy in the offseason by slimming down after the coach was critical of the lead back’s playing weight at the end of last season.

With a healthy Rodgers again held out of game action, second-year backup Brett Hundley made the start in his preseason debut.

But after directing the early touchdown drive, which used more than half of the clock in the first quarter, Hundley left the game early in the second quarter with an ankle injury.

An injured ankle sidelined Hundley for two weeks until he returned to practice this week.


Green Bay still needs Peppers to be productive

No matter what the plan is for Julius Peppers this season, the expectations aren’t changing for the oldest player on the Green Bay Packers roster.

“It’s not like we’re going to put him out to pasture or sit him over on the bench a whole lot,” general manager Ted Thompson said Wednesday.

Peppers is beginning his 15th NFL season; whether this will be the final one for the 36-year-old defensive stalwart isn’t known.

Of more immediate attention, as the Packers prepare to play their first preseason game Friday night against the Cleveland Browns, is just what role Peppers will have when the season starts in a month.

Peppers is listed as a starter on the depth chart this week. But another former first-round draft pick, Nick Perry, not Peppers, has been taking most of the reps at the outside linebacker spot opposite Clay Matthews in Green Bay’s base defense early in training camp.


Offensive line looking to get healthy

Right guard T.J. Lang is optimistic a starting offensive line that hasn’t been on the field together in seven months can jell in time for the start of the Green Bay Packers’ season.

“We haven’t all been out there, but I don’t think there’s any concern that we’re going to lose any chemistry,” Lang said Tuesday. “Us five, we’ve played a lot of football together, and we trust each other, we know what we’re doing.”

The Packers have had their preferred starting five since 2014, but this could be their last year together.

Contracts for three starters are up after this season, and the team has some options in reserve after taking two linemen in this year’s draft.

After missing the first week of training camp and then practicing in limited fashion last week, Lang felt a sense of urgency to be more active when the team returned to the practice field Tuesday night following the canceled Hall of Fame game two days earlier.


Favre wonders if he belongs in hall

Brett Favre seemed a bit surprised by the question.

Asked if he ever imagined himself wearing a gold jacket in Canton, Favre quickly responded: “Absolutely not.”

He’s still not sure he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which he will enter on Saturday night.

“Pretty amazing,” the record-setting quarterback said Friday. “Incredible. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the game. I hold these guys in the highest regard. I just find it hard to believe I am in with those guys.”

Those guys are the 295 members of the hall that Favre will join, along with Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Kevin Greene, Ken Stabler, Dick Stanfel and Ed DeBartolo Jr.

That Favre even remotely doubted he belonged after one of the greatest careers in NFL history — 20 seasons, tons of records, including a stunning 299 consecutive games, an NFL title in 1996 — is folly to most.


QB Hundley hobbled by ankle injury

The new backup for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a little hobbled.

Second-year pro Brett Hundley has an ankle injury that kept him out of practice a second straight night Thursday.

Hundley’s injury, which happened in practice Monday, could impact Green Bay’s plan for the Hall of Fame game against the Indianapolis Colts in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday.

“I think you have to be ready for the alternative,” coach Mike McCarthy said before Thursday’s practice.

McCarthy has been mum about playing time for the Packers’ first preseason game, saying those decisions would be made when he meets with his staff Friday morning.

With Rodgers unsure earlier in the week about how long he would play, if at all, Green Bay could turn to a pair of undrafted rookies to operate the offense against a Colts team that plans to play all of its available players.


Favre headlines Hall of Fame class

Brett Favre was equal parts desperado and virtuoso during his 20-year NFL career that was predicated on taking big risks in the game’s biggest moments.

That style never paid off more handsomely than when he hit Andre Rison with a long TD toss on an audible that kick-started his lone Super Bowl victory. And it never backfired so spectacularly as when he threw careless, late interceptions in two NFC championships.

Favre’s unorthodox style made for one of the most exciting, colorful careers the league has seen.

“Brett Favre’s in the top-5 as far as the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game,” suggested Hall of Famer John Elway, who led Denver past Favre’s Packers for the first of his two Super Bowl triumphs in the late 1990s. “He was a gunslinger and he wasn’t afraid to fail. That’s what made him great.”


Rookies Clark, Martinez may be ready for starting roles

The Green Bay Packers have five exhibition games and about 20 practices before their regular-season opener, so nothing is set in stone.

Yet there is a growing possibility the Packers will step out of character and start two rookies in their defensive front seven at Jacksonville on Sept. 11.

Nose tackle Kenny Clark, the Packers’ first-round draft pick, and inside linebacker Blake Martinez, taken in the fourth round, have been heavily involved in everything the defense has done through the first eight days of training camp. Running mostly with the starters, Clark has been used as a nose tackle in the base defense and an interior rusher in passing situations. Martinez has been on the field with the first unit in the base, nickel and dime defenses.


Opportunity knocks for young receivers

The Green Bay Packers continue to wait for standout wide receiver Jordy Nelson to start practicing in training camp.

“Status quo. I really have no updates,” coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday.

That’s OK with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Minus Nelson, the team’s prolific pass catcher who is on the physically unable to perform list, Rodgers is taking advantage of throwing more passes to a promising group of young receivers.

And the two-time NFL MVP likes what he’s seen early in camp.

“There’s going to be a lot of great competition,” Rodgers said. “That’s exciting as a quarterback.”

The competition has been compelling already with Nelson sidelined because of a knee injury he sustained while working out before camp started last week. Nelson called the injury to his left knee “a hiccup.”

When asked how he is progressing, Nelson responded, “Great,” as he quickly passed through the locker room before practice Wednesday night.


Crockett searching for niche in backfield

There are certain players for the Green Bay Packers whose off-field demeanors mirror their disposition in pads and a jersey. They carry themselves between the sidelines the same way they act in real life.

Consider defensive end Mike Daniels, whose booming voice and unyielding desire run wild from dawn till dusk. Consider cornerback Damarious Randall, whose confidence knows no bounds. Consider tailback James Starks, whose boyish smile is ever-present.

The newest member of their crew is second-year running back John Crockett, who was promoted to the active roster in Week 13 last season. Crockett, who first signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent from North Dakota State, is third on the depth chart but large in personality: He talks fast and his feet are faster; they pitter-patter through cracks along the line of scrimmage.


Green Bay needs Clark to get ready quickly

Not long after they were drafted this spring by the Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry got a call from the fiery leader of the defensive line.

Mike Daniels was on the phone, and he needed them to get ready quickly.

The Packers will be down a veteran up front early in the season because of the four-game suspension of Mike Pennel, so Clark and Lowry must be ready to play right away. That means there is no time to waste in training camp for the rookies.

“I’m not going to lie to you,” Daniels said. “We need them ready like yesterday.”

After Daniels and Letroy Guion, the Packers will be short on experience up front to start the season.


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