GREEN BAY – When Head Coach Matt LaFleur pondered whether or not to play the Packers’ starters in a preseason game and ultimately decided it wasn’t worth the injury risk, he had a Plan B.
That plan was carried out in Wednesday’s practice, the team’s first after roster cuts but last before an extended weekend break.
LaFleur structured the 11-on-11 periods like a game, with four “quarters” of first units going against one another, as well as second units, plus special-teams reps sprinkled in between.
The media was not allowed to watch, but afterward, quarterback Aaron Rodgers described some of the action and felt the benefits were numerous.
“It was the best practice of camp,” Rodgers said. “For us older guys, it was like a preseason game. Conditioning-wise, I wish we would’ve done a couple more of those. It was basically like a game.
“I really liked that Matt brought that up. It was a good idea, good practice.”
LaFleur didn’t get into the specifics of his motivation for the different workout, but pushing the players before their upcoming rest period made sense timing-wise. Getting blown out in Week 1 last year by the Saints after not playing any starters in the preseason might’ve factored into his thinking as well.
Whatever the case, Rodgers considered it a good day for the offense, which had taken its lumps against the Packers’ defense at times during training camp.