Packers S Josh Jones returns for mandatory minicamp

Tue Jun 11 5:52pm ET
By KEITH JENKINS
AP Sports Writer

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Safety Josh Jones, who missed all of the voluntary organized team activities, appeared on the practice field with his teammates as the Green Bay Packers opened their mandatory minicamp. But Jones did not participate Tuesday.

The third-year safety was sidelined with a hamstring injury, said general manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur.

LaFleur said he doesn't anticipate Jones being able to practice the rest of the week.

Jones, who said after practice he felt fine and is looking forward to being able to practice, has expressed his displeasure with the amount of playing time he has been given and has voiced a desire to be traded.

Gutekunst and LaFleur said the organization has had several discussions with Jones and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, about the matter.

''We've been in constant communication,'' LaFleur said. ''I think we're on the same page in terms of what the expectations are and where he fits with us. We certainly want him a part of what we're doing moving forward.''

Jones, a second-round pick of the Packers in 2017, was one of only three Green Bay rookies to play in all 16 games that season; running back Jamaal Williams and punter Justin Vogel also did. Jones saw action in 13 games in 2018, including five starts. He has one interception, three sacks and 114 total tackles in two seasons with the team.

''I think he's a versatile guy,'' LaFleur said of Jones. ''He can fill a lot of roles, especially in (defensive coordinator Mike) Pettine's defense where we're going to play multiple defensive backs and put these guys all over the place.''

By showing up Tuesday, Jones avoids being docked up to $14,775 for skipping one day of mandatory minicamp. The scale increases on the second day missed, with a fine of up to $29,550, and $44,325 for the third day missed (or up to a total of $88,650).

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE

Two rookies who also will by vying for playing time in Pettine's defense this season are safety Darnell Savage and cornerback Ka'Dar Hollman. The Packers drafted Savage with the 21st overall pick in April, while Hollman was taken in the sixth round.

Both rookies have drawn LaFleur's attention, as Savage saw first-team reps alongside Adrian Amos and the starting defense during OTAs, and Hollman is leaving his mark on defense and special teams.

''I'm excited about those two guys,'' LeFleur said. ''Two guys that can fly around. Really the one thing that you can see with not only our receiving group but the secondary is those guys are competing with each other and they're pushing each other to get better. There's a lot of jawing going out back and forth, which I kind of like. It just kind of amps that level of competition a little bit more. Hopefully it will help our guys get a little bit better each and every day.''

Savage, who earned second-team All-Big Ten honors last season at Maryland, said he wants to be a sponge and soak up as much as he can from the veteran defensive backs.

''What I'm working on now is just gaining the trust of all the older guys,'' he said. ''I am a rookie, and at the end of the day, what round you were drafted in and all that stuff goes away once you get here. So I'm just trying to learn and have a good impact.''

Hollman, who walked on at Toledo and paid his way through school before earning a scholarship as a redshirt sophomore, said Green Bay defensive backs coach Jason Simmons has worked with him on improving his ball skills and his overall football IQ. But Hollman said nothing has compared to what he's learned from lining up opposite two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion Aaron Rodgers.

''Other places have good quarterbacks, but you know here, even playing good defense isn't good enough,'' Hollman said. ''Here, you have to do more than play good defense. You have to make sure you're perfect. He makes sure you have a perfect rep every day, every play. So that's going to make me a better player in the long run.''

Green Bay had seven interceptions last season, which trailed only the 49ers' two for fewest in the league.

EXCUSED FOR SCHOOL

Tight End Mercedes Lewis is excused from minicamp.

''He's in the process of finishing up his school at UCLA,'' he said. ''It's unfortunate they're on the quarter system and he couldn't be here. His presence is felt when he's here. He's such a good, positive veteran player. He brings a lot to the table.''

It's not known what Lewis' major is, but the 14-year veteran is currently going through final exams and the spring quarter will end Friday.

Lewis re-signed with the Packers earlier this year. Lewis had three catches for 39 yards last season.

Player Notes
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Andre Roberts Jun 13 11:53pm ET

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Matt Barkley Jun 13 10:53pm ET

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Cameron Meredith Jun 13 10:33pm ET

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Geronimo Allison Jun 13 10:13pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Allison had a productive start to last season before suffering an injury, and while Marquez Valdes-Scantling may have the inside track on the No. 2 receiver job, the Green Bay passing attack could support three viable fantasy options. Consider Allison a WR4 with upside.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jun 13 10:03pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: It sounds like Valdes-Scantling has the inside track to the No. 2 receiver job. It remains to be seen if he will take the role and run with it, but the upside that comes with being one of Aaron Rodgers' top targets makes him a WR4 candidate.

Robby Anderson Jun 13 9:23pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: The nature of Anderson's injury remains unclear, but unless it lingers into training camp, fantasy owners shouldn't be too concerned. Anderson started to connect with Sam Darnold on some big plays late last season, and he's a WR3 candidate in 2019 as the top option in the passing attack.

Leonard Fournette Jun 13 9:03pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Fournette has just 48 career catches for 487 yards and two touchdowns over the first two seasons of his career. Foles most memorably hooked up with RB Corey Clement four times for 100 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LII. Fournette could be a huge steal if he continues to go in the third round of PPR drafts.

Marlon Mack Jun 13 8:23pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Mack rushed for 908 yards and nine touchdowns last season while adding 103 yards and one touchdown as a receiver. Nyheim Hines should handle the majority of third-down duties in 2019, but Mack could still return plenty of value as a high-end RB2.

LeSean McCoy Jun 13 7:43pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: McCoy totaled just 752 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns last season. Both numbers were career worsts as he played in 14 games but made just 13 starts. He remains No. 1 on the Bills' depth chart, but he'll be competing against veteran RB Frank Gore and third-round rookie Devin Singletary. He's fallen into RB4 territory but could prove to be a steal at a mid-round price.

Darius Slay Jun 13 6:43pm ET

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Dallas Goedert Jun 13 6:33pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Goedert, who caught 33 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie after being chosen 49th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, will remain behind Zach Ertz on the Eagles' depth chart as a sophomore. He could prove to be a viable TE2 in deeper leagues and would be an instant must-add should Ertz miss any time.

David Moore Jun 13 6:23pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Moore caught just 26 of 53 targets last season but turned those into 445 yards and five touchdowns. He projects behind Tyler Lockett and rookie D.K. Metcalf on the depth chart, but he's worth a late-round pick as a WR5 as the Seahawks begin life without Doug Baldwin.

Theo Riddick Jun 13 5:53pm ET

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Kerryon Johnson Jun 13 5:53pm ET

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Demarcus Lawrence Jun 13 5:53pm ET

Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones (hip) and DE DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) are expected to begin training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

DeSean Jackson Jun 13 5:43pm ET

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Lamar Jackson Jun 13 5:43pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson indicated he may work with noted 'quarterback guru' Tom House over the summer and confirmed he will throw to his teammates in either Baltimore or somewhere in Florida in July.

Travin Dural Jun 13 4:53pm ET

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C.J. Prosise Jun 13 4:43pm ET

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