GREEN BAY - The new collective bargaining agreement ended the use of two a days in the NFL and was supposed to usher in a new era of player safety. It hasn't played out that way so far around the NFL and particularly in Packers training camp.
21 players sat out Saturday night's practice, the number dropped to 19 on Sunday, which is still more than 20 percent of the roster. Coming into camp Coach McCarthy said he was the most prepared he'd ever been for camp, but there's no preparing for this.
"At the end of the day there's things that concern you because you spend the whole spring and summer getting ready to have camp and you have certain targets and this is not, this is not what you're looking for. This has been a very challenging week due to injuries, said McCarthy."
The number of injured players in camp is even starting to affect the healthy ones. Josh Sitton was standing on the sideline during practice today but it wasn't because he was injured.
"Josh was on a rep count today," said McCarthy. "He's just a little beat up and that's the flip side of all these injuries, you've got guys that are taking more reps and we're more spread out than we've been in the past."
This weekend's practices were two of the shortest of camp, which Coach McCarthy said was partially due to their transition into their regular season schedule, but not entirely.
Veteran fullback John Kuhn is among those who've sat out a few days of training camp and understands Coach McCarthy is doing what needs to be done.
"We have a lot of guys that are nicked up right now so, coach is doing what he feels is best for the team to ease back a little bit and try and get this team healthy because you want to be as healthy as possible entering the regular season, " said Kuhn.
Rookie Jerron McMillian was happy to see practice run a little shorter but knows that just means that each even more has to be accomplished in the time they are on the field.
"Every day still goes a lot faster you've got to get your work in and make sure you're on point with what you're doing because the time is short, " said McMillian.
Players say McCarthy has a good read on the pulse of the team and knows when to push and when the needs to handle them with care, which seems to be the case right now.
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