GREEN BAY, Wis. –Green Bay Packers starting safety Darnell Savage suffered a hamstring injury during the team’s traditional “Family Night” practice at Lambeau Field on Friday.
During the one-on-one clashes between receivers and defensive backs early in practice, Savage stopped while trying to cover Amari Rodgers. Savage, a 2019 first-round pick, watched the rest of practice from the sideline with ice wrapped around his right leg.
“I don’t think that’s a problem,” Savage said. “It’s an injury for fast people. Some of those things you can’t avoid. I’m just going to deal with it the right way and listen to those guys over there and I’ll be fine.”
Going into training camp, Green Bay’s defense mostly got its way with an offense led by four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but is adjusting to playing without All-Pro receiver Davante Adams. With Vernon Scott replacing Savage in the lineup, the solid defense play continued.
During a red-zone period, the starting offense ran seven plays inside the 10-yard line but scored only once. Rodgers sent a touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis against tight coverage from rookie linebacker Quay Walker on the second play.
After that, safety Adrian Amos interrupted a pass to Randall Cobb, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell stopped Aaron Jones on a jet-sweep style turnover from Rodgers, safety Shawn Davis nearly intercepted a pass intended for Allen Lazard and defensive tackle Dean Lowry dropped Jones on a run from the 2.
“I think there are some things we’re doing a good job with, and there are a lot of areas to improve,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “One thing that we kind of challenged our defense on was consistency with stopping the run, and then I think they did a really good job of defending the pass and, in particular, the deep balls and by not giving up a ton of big plays on the pitch.”
At the start of camp, Rodgers predicted the offense was “going to get our asses kicked almost every day” by a defense that could be the team’s best since winning the Super Bowl in 2010. The Packers signed at new Campbell and cornerback Rasul Douglas, added defensive tackle Jarran Reed in free agency and added Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt in the first round of the draft.
Meanwhile, Green Bay’s offense has struggled without Adams, who was traded to the Raiders in February, and offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, who are recovering from a torn ACL.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” LaFleur said. “Hopefully our defense is really strong and they’re going to be very difficult to deal with. I think the only area we need to improve is just consistency up front. Now okay, I think we “We have a pretty good defensive front. Our front seven can be pretty salty, so hopefully they improve our offense even further. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who’s out there. They have to get the job done and we We have to see improvement over the next week and in the pre-season games.”
The Packers open the preseason in San Francisco on Friday night.