GREEN BAY Womens Mitchell Trubisky Jersey , Wis. (AP) Blake Martinez gathered his fellow inside linebackers together after a tough day at Green Bay Packers practice.
It’s difficult to see two key members of the defense go down with injuries on just the fourth day of training camp.
Inside linebacker Jake Ryan, one of the team’s top run defenders, was carted off the field late in practice Monday with an apparent right leg injury. Kentrell Brice, a potential starter at safety, was carted off the field during a special teams drill, though the type of injury was unclear.
”Oh, man. That was bad, man. You hate to see that, especially as a player. That’s your brother,” safety Josh Jones said when asked about Brice.
Practice ended up being cut short early because of the threat of lightning. The injuries dampened the mood in the locker room.
Back inside Lambeau Field, Martinez gathered the rest of his position group together. Martinez (158) and Ryan (89) led the team in tackles last season.
After third-year pro Martinez and Ryan Drew Stafford Jersey , who is in his fourth year, rookies fill the inside linebacker depth chart. Martinez called a position meeting to get everyone refocused.
”It just comes down to `What are we going to do now?”’ Martinez said in recounting his message. ”Or whatever your mindset is, what are you going to do to get better every day?”
Oren Burks, a third-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt, might play a bigger role if Ryan misses significant time. Burks played inside linebacker in college last season after taking on a hybrid linebacker/safety role as a junior. He played free safety as a sophomore.
The Packers are also making changes on defense after Mike Pettine replaced Dom Capers as coordinator. Martinez said that he’ll be checking on the rookies constantly to make sure they are up to speed.
”I know my goals for this season, our team goals for this season and I’m not going to let one injury kind of ruin that for us,” he said.
Brice appeared in line to take a starting job at safety following the offseason departure of veteran Morgan Burnett, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent. Brice played six games with three starts last year before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury on Nov. 3. He played in all 16 games with one start as a rookie.
Coach Mike McCarthy likes Brice for his positional versatility, a trait that has become more important on defenses to help keep up with expanding passing attacks. The Packers are still deep at safety, where promising second-year player Jones might get more snaps if Brice misses a lot of time.
The defense must move on, as hard as that might be to do after a trying day.
”It’s kind of tough. You just do it because it’s part of your job. But in the back of your head Nick Jensen Jersey , it’s always there though,” said cornerback Demetri Goodson, who came back from a serious knee injury earlier in his career.
Notes: Rookie CB Jaire Alexander picked off QB Aaron Rodgers over the middle during play action drills. The interception came two plays after Rodgers hit tight end Jimmy Graham in stride up the seam on a pretty pass for a big gain. … S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepted Rodgers during a two-minute drill on a short pass over the middle that was tipped by Martinez. … RB Aaron Jones hopes to return to practice no later than Thursday. He said he tweaked his hamstring at practice on Saturday.
The Carolina Hurricanes changed owners this season. They’ll soon have a new general manager. Perhaps a new coach, too.
What didn’t change was how early another yet offseason started.
Missing the playoffs for the ninth straight season, the Hurricanes finished up with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
”It’s disappointing – obviously, we wanted to be in the playoffs and we were expecting big things out of our hockey club this year and fell short,” veteran goalie Cam Ward said.
Carolina’s playoff drought is the longest in team history, the longest active drought in the NHL and only the fourth of nine or more seasons in the history of the league.
The Colorado-New Jersey franchise also missed out from 1979-87, while the Florida Panthers (2001-11) and Edmonton Oilers (2007-17) went a league-record 10 seasons between playoff appearances.
So, either way, the Hurricanes will make history in 2018-19.
”I know we have a good group of guys and we just need to put it all together Daniel Winnik Jersey ,” forward Justin Williams said. ”When you don’t win, you don’t stay together. So there’s probably some things that will be different, but you’ve got to keep pushing forward.”
Some things to know about the Hurricanes’ disappointing 2017-18 season, and a look to ’18-19:
TIPPING POINT: The official, mathematical elimination came a week before the season finale, in the 79th game of the season for the third straight year, but things went awry in the months before that. The Hurricanes lost 3-1 to San Jose in February, missing a chance to move into playoff position, and after that game, coach Bill Peters repeatedly called his team out. He repeatedly used the word ”disappointing” and promised lineup changes, saying ”you can’t put that group out again after that.” In their next game Youth Derek Stepan Jersey , the Hurricanes put pretty much the same group out again.
BIGGEST MOVE: The most significant acquisition was not of a player – but of a new owner. Dallas businessman Tom Dundon bought a majority interest in the team from longtime owner Peter Karmanos Jr. in January. Now as he enters his first offseason as a pro sports owner, the question becomes, what sorts of moves are coming?
NEW GM: Before the Hurricanes can get too involved in retooling their roster, they have to settle on who’s in charge of that project after Dundon’s midseason removal of Ron Francis as general manager. The Hall of Fame player stockpiled draft picks during his three-plus seasons but was criticized for a lack of moves to help the current club. Without question, the top priority for Dundon this offseason is picking his replacement.
COACH SITUATION: Peters, who was hired by Francis in 2014, is entering the fourth and final year of his contract. Now that Francis has been reassigned to another position within the organization, it’s fair to wonder if the new GM will want his own guy behind the bench.
LASTING IMAGE OF 2017-18: The day after that fateful loss to the Sharks, Peters wrapped up a morning skate by posing a question to his team on a dry-erase board mounted on the glass. The message read: ”Who are we? 29 games to find out.” Two months later, the question was answered: Not a playoff team. Again.
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