GREEN BAY — It’s funny, really, but maybe the least talked about important player on the Green Bay Packers roster this training camp is quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Likely because it’s a foregone conclusion Rodgers will just continue playing like an MVP quarterback, like recent seasons, and maybe because nothing has stood out about Rodgers.
He’s playing like everyone expects.
“I think his timing and his pinpoint passes came a lot earlier in this camp than past camps,” McCarthy said. “I think the rep count for the first time in his career has really helped him, so I think he’s been very consistent throwing the football.”
McCarthy went on to say Rodgers has jelled well with the new receivers, who have received plenty of reps because of injuries to Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson.
Let’s face it, Rodgers is the last player McCarthy is worried about in terms of being ready for Week 1. Since becoming a starter in 2008, the 2011 NFL MVP has thrown 170 TDs and 45 INTs.
“I see the same guy every day,” McCarthy said. “He’s in a good place. I really like the camp he’s having.”
Rodgers appears on course to prove the Packers spent wisely this offseason when they signed him to a 5-year, $110 million contract extension, making him the highest paid player in NFL history.
- WR Randall Cobb (biceps) didn’t practice Wednesday after returning Tuesday from his injury. McCarthy said there was swelling and Cobb won’t practice Thursday and playing Saturday at St. Louis in the second preseason game is a stretch.
- RBs Eddie Lacy (hamstring) and DuJuan Harris (knee) both participated in Wednesday’s practice but were limited. Their availability for Saturday is questionable.
“Health is a priority; don’t want to go backwards,” McCarthy said. “That decision (for when injured players return) is for the doctors.”
Young coming along
QB Vince Young is on a crash course to learn the Packers’ offense and it seems like he’s making strides.
“Vince Young is clearly different from where he was last week,” McCarthy said. “We’ll have a bigger play selection for him (at St. Louis).”
GM Ted Thompson also likes what he sees.
“He looks like he’s doing fine,” Thompson said. “Seems like a real good team guy. We’ve put a lot on his plate in a short time. I think he’s doing OK.”
Could Walker catch on?
WR Tyrone Walker is arguably having the best camp among undrafted free agents. The Illinois State product led the Packers with 5 catches for 41 yards in a loss to Arizona in the preseason opener.
It’s unknown how many WRs the Packers will keep, but Walker is making a run at a roster spot.
“Tyrone Walker has really put together a consistent couple weeks,” McCarthy said. “He’s a good route runner, he has excellent body language; he’s easy to read. I like the way he’s progressing.”
Ross needs more consistency
WR Jeremy Ross could use more consistency, McCarthy said. Ross is vying for positions as a WR and kick returner and he needs to do more to grab a roster spot.
“Running after the catch; that’s a strength of Jeremy’s,” McCarthy said. “He needs to be more consistent. He has got to get to the point where you can count on him every single down.”
Concern at tackle?
The Packers have three healthy tackles with Andrew Datko (concussion), Derek Sherrod (leg), Bryan Bulaga (knee, out for season) and JC Tretter (ankle) injured. That’s not much depth but Thompson isn’t concerned, at least on the outside.
“It’s an opportunity for some fellows to step up,” Thompson said. “Do I feel we’re OK? Yeah, under the caveat at this time of the year I feel pretty good.”
- Pro scouts at work: Thompson said at this time of the year the team’s NFL scouts study each team’s roster in preparation to possibly filling out the Packers’ roster at the end of the preseason. “They go through each team one by one,” Thompson said. “They go through strengths and weaknesses; where they’re playing the young guys.”
- McCarthy on DE Mike Neal’s practice Wednesday: “I think Mike had his best practice today of training camp.”
- TE Ryan Taylor (knee) returned to practice Wednesday: “Ryan came back in a limited fashion. We’ll see how he is (Thursday).”
- Missing in action: WR Charles Johnson, WR Randall Cobb, S Sean Richardson, S Casey Hayward, CB Tramon Williams, RB James Starks, T JC Tretter, T Bryan Bulaga, T Andrew Datko, T Derek Sherrod, TE Andrew Quarless, WR Jordy Nelson, DE Datone. Jones, DT Jerel Worthy.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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