GREEN BAY – Packers receiver Malachi Dupre was back at work Friday.
That was good news considering not long ago the rookie seventh-round draft pick was being immobilized and wheeled out of Lambeau Field after taking a wicked hit from Eagles safety Tre Sullivan on a slant pass in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s preseason opener.
Mike McCarthy announced that Dupre is in the concussion protocol, but the head coach did not indicate he had additional injuries. Dupre spent the night in a local hospital for evaluation but was released Friday morning.
Third-year cornerback Damarious Randall is in the concussion protocol as well after going down due to a crack-back block from Philadelphia receiver Bryce Treggs on a running play in the first quarter.
McCarthy said both players are “in good spirits” following hits that weren’t penalized but ones the Packers are sending in to the NFL to be reviewed.
“Saw the video. Definitely both plays we’ll turn in to the league,” McCarthy said. “With the emphasis (on player safety), those hits fall into that category.”
Offensive lineman Don Barclay’s ankle injury is still being evaluated, and McCarthy did not have a timeline for his return.
McCarthy liked the way the Packers’ young offensive linemen made up for Barclay’s absence, but one disappointment was the run game never got going.
Not including quarterback scrambles, the Packers rushed 14 times for just 18 yards in the game. The film will be scrutinized closely and McCarthy insists it will be a good learning experience.
“That’s an emphasis for our Sunday practice,” McCarthy said, as the Packers will hold a closed workout on Sunday. “We had some tough angles in the run game, and shoot, that’s good football. You don’t play the game on a chalkboard. You have to be able to play through those types of situations, and we’ll be better for it.”
Other notes from the 24-9 victory:
- McCarthy called out the special teams for playing the best of the three phases. With two long punt returns by Trevor Davis (one for a TD), a solid night from rookie punter Justin Vogel, a long opponent punt return of just three yards, and a smooth field-goal operation, the fundamentals on special teams graded out the highest.
- The trainers are still working with tight end Richard Rodgers to see what type of splint or club he might be able to wear on his injured finger in order to get back on the field. Rodgers missed Thursday’s game.
- Defensively there were too many missed tackles, especially early. McCarthy said defenders were trying to tackle too high rather than going low, and the Packers paid for it.
Overall, it was a typical first preseason effort, filled with plusses and minuses. One down, three to go.
“There was a lot of energy in the coaching meetings today, excited about a lot of the good football,” McCarthy said. “As coaches we can harp on the negatives too much.
“There’s a lot of good tape to learn from, and a lot of mistakes that are still good experiences to learn from. We did improve as a football team. It was our first impression, and we need to build off that.”