GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Packers’ 2022 Training Camp kicked off Wednesday with general manager Brian Gutekunst addressing the media.
Ahead of the first practice, the recently-extended GM discussed a wide range of topics, including the health of the offensive line and the expectations surrounding a stacked defensive unit.
The Packers moved 10 players to the physically unable to perform list in the week leading up to camp, but Gutekunst said DL Dean Lowry and RB Patrick Taylor would come off the list and be available for Wednesday’s practice. The NFL’s new PUP rules for in-season additions have shortened the minimum time on the list from six weeks to four weeks.
Franchise left tackle David Bakhtiari underwent another procedure on his knee in the offseason after tearing his ACL on December 31, 2020 and missing the the entire 2021 season, save for two dozen snaps in the season finale against the Lions.
Bakhtiari was placed on PUP once again last week, but Gutekunst said the organization is “cautiously optimistic” he could be ready for Week 1.
The wide receiver situation is a bit more murky.
Veteran wideout Sammy Watkins, who has been mired with injury issues in recent years, was moved to the non-football injury list Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately for the Packers, Gutekunst said they’re not expecting the injury to be anything long-term, and that Watkins could miss “a few practices” at most.
Rookie WR Christian Watson was placed on PUP with the main group last week, but Gutekunst wouldn’t put a timetable on the highly-valued wideout’s return.
After an offseason of bolstering the defense and renewing the focus on special teams, the general manager gushed about the overall depth and pieces they’ve added since March. New special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia brought over two utility players from the Raiders – CB Keisean Nixon and S Dallin Leavitt.
On defense, Green Bay added two first round draft picks in LB Quay Walker and DL Devonte Wyatt, along with a veteran defensive tackle in Jarran Reed.
In a unique soliloquy to close his first press conference of the 2022 season, Gutekunst credited the organization for its willingness to provide the team with everything it needs to be competitive. The Packers publicly reported record profits of $579 million between the 2021 season and the recent stock sale, and Gutekunst praised Mark Murphy and the team’s board of directors for always giving the team the resources to stay at the top of the NFL.
The Packers will practice each day of the first week at 10:30 a.m. on Ray Nitzchke Field.