Despite being changed from a scrimmage-format to just another practice, Lambeau Field was rocking Saturday during Packers Family Night.
“Man I thought the environment was incredible, the fans were phenomenal, record crowd,” Mike McCarthy commented.
“67,000, that's quite a bit man. The fans are awesome. The energy in the stadium was awesome,” Bryan Bulaga said.
A.J. Hawk explained that for him, even in his 9th year, the atmosphere of Lambeau Field is so intense, he's got to find a way to calm himself down.
“Sometimes you're a little too excited and you by pass some of your responsibilities, so every rep you get in an atmosphere like this is big,” Hawk said.
Right Tackle Bryan Bulaga is perhaps one of the reasons the event format was altered. Bulaga tore his acl on Family night last year, so for him, walking to the locker room after the practice was a win.
“Yes feels good to get out of this one 100% good work out there, just getting some good reps in front of the crowd so happy, happy this family night for sure,” Bulaga said.
Unfortunately not everyone got away unscathed, at one point rookie tight end Colt Lyerla was carted into the locker room and defensive tackle B.J. Raji tweaked his ankle.
“I'm fine because I'm fine. Unless something drastic changes I won't see me missing any time,” said Raji.
It doesn't look like his teammate was as fortunate. Lyerla hurdled cornerback Jumal Rolle and injured his knee on the play. Mike McCarthy didn't seem happy with the rookie's decision-making.
“You know kinda had a little bit of an adrenaline rush and was trying to show a little bit of my athleticism,” said Lyerla.
“I think there's a time for the opportunity to hurdle a defender and that was probably not the right time,” McCarthy commented.
And of course, the Packers feared the worse with rookie wide receiver Jared Abbrederis' injury and it was confirmed on Saturday he did in fact tear his acl. The Wisconsin native had to watch family night from the sideline, still shocked that his injury was so severe.
“I didn't really think it could be just because I was practicing, I felt fine but that's just how it goes,” Abbrederis said.
“A lot of times with these type of injuries the player feels great and doesn't really believe that that's the case and that's exactly what happened here. He's a young man that’s got a phenomenal attitude and he'll take this as another challenge,” McCarthy weighed in.
Abbrederis is all too familiar with adversity - the former Badger walk-on broke his leg and tore his acl in high school so he knows firsthand the road to recovery is challenging.
“It's never easy having to go thru surgery trying to come back but God's got a plan for everything so I just trust in that knowing that he has me here for a reason, it's not what I wanted obviously, I was excited to be here with camp, had a couple good first days and excited for the season but obviously a bump in the road but we'll come back stronger,” said Abbrederis.
He won't have to look very far for support along the way... 67,336 people showing up for Saturday's practice is proof there's no place like Titletown.
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