The Green Bay Packers are gathering this week for their annual minicamp, but reports detail that a number of core players like Aaron Rodgers won’t be suiting up for this one. Quite a few veteran players are excused from participating, and Coach Mike McCarthy says that they’ve earned the extra time off.
ESPN explains that a total of 16 veteran Green Bay Packers will be excused from the otherwise mandatory practices taking place this week. This represents the third season in a row that McCarthy has taken this approach in giving some of his core players some extra time off while newer players have to hit the field.
In addition to Aaron Rodgers being excused from this minicamp, the list reportedly includes other Green Bay Packers who are heading into at least their sixth season with the team. That means that Bryan Bulaga, Byron Bell, Clay Matthews, and David Bakhtiari are enjoying their free days this week as are Davon House, Jimmy Graham, Lance Kendricks, Lane Taylor, and Mason Crosby. Rounding out the list of excused players are Marcedes Lewis, Mike Daniels, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Perry, Randall Cobb, and Tramon Williams.
While these familiar faces will be off the field during this minicamp, this week represents an opportunity for newer players to make a big impression on McCarthy. Top draft picks Josh Jackson and Jaire Alexander will be involved, as will quarterbacks Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer.
The Packers site notes that McCarthy made the announcement regarding the 16 excused veterans on Tuesday, and the minicamp involved runs through Thursday. Training camp for the new season kicks into gear at the end of July. According to the Green Bay coach, these 16 long-time players have earned the break this week.
“They deserve it, where they are, particularly in their career. We were focused on the veterans through the OTAs, and now the focus, really starting with (last) Thursday’s practice, will be exclusively for our younger players. This is a huge opportunity. We have to take a jump as a football team.”
It seems that the classroom sections of this week’s minicamp are focused on fundamental concepts and basics, so it’ll give the newer players the chance to hit the ground running when training camp with the veterans begins next month. Will these younger Green Bay Packers take advantage of this minicamp opportunity to show Coach McCarthy what they’ve got? Fans are anxious for a big season beginning this fall and they’re hoping that Aaron Rodgers and other key players are healthy and ready to hit the ground running next month when training camp starts.