After training camp debut, Packers' Savage 'doesn't feel behind'

-- After not being cleared to participate in football activities until he was fully recovered from wisdom tooth surgery, first-round safety Darnell Savage Jr. was back at the Green Bay Packers' disposal on Wednesday.

It marked the first time he practiced with the team during training camp, including his first padded practice. Ensuring that he was a full-go and ready to resume any duties the Packers have planned for him in their defense.

Those duties included entrenching him right back in with the first-string defense, right where he left off in minicamp.

"It's hard," Savage told PackersNews.com of sitting out while his peers kicked off the on-field summer festivities. "I just love being out there playing, it's fun. But at the end of the day, those guys know what's best for me. I trust the medical staff here and everybody who makes those decisions."

The Packers traded up to acquire Savage with the No. 21 overall pick in April with the intention of solidifying the back end of their defense, i.e., their safety position that underwent a bevy of changes a year ago. 

One of those changes included trading Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, another former first-round pick, to the Washington Redskins. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine soon maneuvered cornerback -- or defensive back considering his multi-positional skill set -- to free safety in hopes of alleviating the impact.

2017 second-round pick Josh Jones saw looks at strong safety last season as well. After a hectic offseason that saw Jones request his trade from the team, he's back in the heart of the starting defense as well as the primary nickel linebacker. At times in camp, he's been part of the rotation as one of the two interchangeable safeties on the back end alongside free-agent acquisition Adrian Amos.

But while Savage gets himself back up to speed physically and becomes familiarized with his assignments, he'll almost undoubtedly be paired opposite Amos as the team's starting safety duo by the season opener. For now, it's a matter of easing Savage back into the lineup and getting him acclimated to the speed of camp.

"I don't really feel behind," Savage said. "Even though I haven't been out there on the field, I've still been getting my mental reps and making sure I'm staying up on everything.

"Plus, the older guys that I have here around me that I can ask questions and look up to; I've got such a great support cast, I guess you could say."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

5 points

Comments (15)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
murf7777's picture

July 31, 2019 at 04:40 pm

Poor Lombardi is turning in his grave....how the game has changed. It’s hard to believe a sore mouth/gums keep you out of practice. Based on how Savage played College ball I suspect it wasn’t his decision or desire.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

July 31, 2019 at 05:30 pm

Yep, and we don't use lead paint, and we use seatbelts and fire alarms in our homes, and we do a lot of other things we didn't know to do in the 50s and 60s. I don't think this is about soreness. It's about being smart and letting his body heal, so there's not a chance of infection and lingering issues from that. Depending on how the wisdom tooth removal went, it's a surgical procedure. It's being smart and safe, and Vince would likely rather his players be available for preseason and the games than for the first couple padded practice of training camp.

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BoCallahan's picture

July 31, 2019 at 05:55 pm

I’ve been in lead painted homes with no problems. I seldom wear my seatbelt (only when my wife is with me), and I’ve removed the batteries from all of my chirping alarms - helps me to sleep at night. Wait, maybe that lead has impacted my judgment?
Get off Murf’s case. He was just mentioning how times have changed.

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dblbogey's picture

July 31, 2019 at 07:12 pm

Sounds like you ate some of those lead paint chips. No seatbelt, no fire alarms? Times haven't changed for you.

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fastmoving's picture

August 01, 2019 at 04:05 am

and only for the better, if you have your senses toghether. And Lombardi was alway progressiv and not one of the "good old time" crowd.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

August 04, 2019 at 01:03 pm

yes...times HAVE changed.....there are a lot more idiots out there now.....

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murf7777's picture

August 01, 2019 at 08:30 am

Wow, how 50 years has changed some of your knowledge of 60’s football and mr. Lombardi. Back then if you had your teeth pulled and didn’t practice he would of kicked you in the a** and sent you down the street. I wasn’t advocating Savage should be on the field just stating how football has changed so much in 50 years. I also suggested that I suspect if it was Savage’s decision he probably would’ve been on the field sooner.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 31, 2019 at 05:35 pm

If he ended up with dry socket from the helmet pads pushing on his cheeks then someone would want the medical staff fired.

Those guys did the right thing.

11 points
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GBPDAN1's picture

July 31, 2019 at 09:52 pm

If they were impacted wisdom teeth , especially if they were embedded sideways in his jawbone like mine were, it's a surgical process that's not to be taken lightly. I was dizzy for a couple of days from whatever General anesthetic they gave me , I chewed Vicodin for 7 days and then I developed a dry socket at one of the extraction sites, which sucked bad (painful and more vicodin) .

Running, playing football - getting my heart pumping to make my jaw throb was the last thing that I felt like doing as I recovered.

Anyways, welcome to training camp Mr Savage! Love that name

9 points
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Lare's picture

July 31, 2019 at 05:22 pm

Regardless of what anybody thinks, Savage's play on the field will dictate his readiness to play in the league. He's got some very good offensive & defensive players to practice with, that should help him prepare for a career in the NFL.

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Samson's picture

July 31, 2019 at 06:27 pm

Amos & Savage... Top NFL safety duo by years end. --- Wowzers!....The "Year of the Pack" is drawing closer & I'm hyped.

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Fastenerpuller's picture

August 01, 2019 at 01:00 am

I hope Savage is an ace because my Woodson Jersey is getting worn out and 26 is my favorite number...

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Fastenerpuller's picture

August 01, 2019 at 01:01 am

Lol

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PatrickGB's picture

August 01, 2019 at 08:43 am

And I prefer a jersey with the name “Savage” instead of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 01, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Ha Ha.

Never did feel comfortable with that name. Nickname or otherwise.

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