After 2 conference championship losses in 2 years, the Green Bay Packers have a crucial training camp coming up if they want to get over the hump. When does it start, where will it be held, and are fans allowed to attend?
With phase 3 of the 2021 NFL offseason set to wrap up on June 18th, teams are already looking forward to training camp. It is by far the most grueling and pivotal part of a team’s preparations.
Training camps often include busy days for players and coaches, sometimes with 2 practices a day, weight training, team meetings, and film sessions.
Per the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), no contact is permitted during the first 3 days of camp. Days 4 and 5 will see players at full speed in light equipment called “spiders and shells”, day 6 is a mandatory day off, and finally fully-padded practices start on the 7th day.
Along with the strenuous schedule, full-speed practices mean that both contact and non-contact injuries are very common. Regardless, training camp is mandatory for all players unlike OTAs which are voluntary. If a player doesn’t show up, they risk getting cut by their team.
When Does Training Camp Start for the Green Bay Packers?
For the first time in NFL history, there will be a unified start for training camp. 29 franchises, including the Packers, will kickoff their training camps on Tuesday, July 27th.
The Cowboys and Steelers, who will play in the preseason Hall of Fame game, are allowed to begin training camp as early as July 21st. The Buccaneers will also be allowed to start training camp 3 days earlier on the 24th, as they play the season opener against Dallas on a Thursday night.
For the first time, the NFL will have a unified start to training camp, with 29 teams set to report Tuesday, July 27 — 47 days before the Sunday of Week 1, as allowed by the CBA — and plans for league-wide practices and fan events Saturday, July 31.
Midsummer Madness, anyone?
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
The #Cowboys and #Steelers can report as early as July 21 because of the hall of fame game. The #Bucs can report July 24 because of a Thursday opener. Players from the other 29 teams are required to report July 27, per the CBA.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
Where is the Packers Training Camp Being Held?
Normally, NFL teams are permitted to hold training camp at outside facilities to improve accessibility for fans, However last year, due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID pandemic, teams were instructed to conduct camp at their own training facilities.
With the situation looking a little more optimistic, the league has informed teams they can return to outside facilities, should they choose to do so.
The Packers will be practicing mostly at Ray Nitschke Field, Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. However, as part of their traditional “Family Night”, they’ll be holding one practice at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay Packers Training Camp Roster: Key Position Battles to Watch
As usual, teams will start camp with 90-man rosters. They must cut down to 85 players by August 17th and to 80 by August 24th, before settling on a final 53-man roster by August 31st.
The Packers don’t have many position battles to look out for since their roster is stacked across the board, but there are still some positions they’ll look to solidify before the season starts.
The Packers biggest question mark this off season is whether Aaron Rodgers will be back or not, so the team must prepare for the worst.
Jordan Love has seen both the highs and lows of the NFL experience. He had one practice where he was picked off repeatedly and another one where he was throwing dimes across the fields. Behind him, the Packers have Blake Bortles signed, but there isn’t much excitement around him.
The offensive line is also facing some turmoil after Corey Linsey left to the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason. That leaves a young group of players duking it out for several positions across the line.
Josh Meyers could step in and be the starting center after the Packers drafted him with the 62nd pick. Jon Runyan Jr. and Elgton Jenkins will also be looking to find their ideal positions along Green Bay’s offensive line as they can play anywhere.
However, the biggest position battle the Packers will be focusing on will be on the defensive side of the ball. After being torched in the NFC Championship Game, the Packers realized they have several questions at cornerback.
They brought back Kevin King despite his horrific performance on a low deal and drafted Eric Stokes in the first round to solidify the position.
King has generally been an adequate starter in the league, but his poor showing in the playoffs last year (allowed 63.2 completion percentage on 52 targets) leaves the door open for Stokes to take the starting role across Jaire Alexander.
Will Fans Be Allowed to Attend Packers Training Camp?
The NFL is planning to have fans at all training camps, with fan events scheduled to start on July 31st. The Packers will be opening their doors to fans this offseason following a one year hiatus due to Covid-19.
Fans will be allowed to attend practices for free, but they will be required to socially distance a little bit, standing at least 20 feet away from NFL players adhering to the protocols laid down by the NFL.