Although OTAs are technically voluntary for the Green Bay Packers, in some senses they aren’t.
Most veterans are given bonuses for taking part in the “voluntary” parts of the offseason program, which doesn’t really make them voluntary at all. Thus, younger players and those on the roster bubble are more or less forced to show up or else.
That’s the way the Packers have always done it under coach Mike McCarthy because McCarthy values the offseason program.
So when OTAs roll around, we fully expect everyone to be present and accounted for.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case on Tuesday.
Cornerback Sam Shields was the only man on the 90-man offseason roster not present.
#Packers have 89 of 90 attendance score at OTAs, which are voluntary. Lone exception today is CB Sam Shields, but he practiced Monday.
The fact that Shields practiced on Monday likely signals he had some sort of excused absence.
An excused absence is not a big deal and frankly, neither is a veteran’s absence.
We don’t really need to see anything from Shields during the offseason at this point in his career.
On a similar note, here are the guys who are present, but aren’t fully participating.
#Packers limited at practice:
Three of those players — Jordy Nelson, Sam Barrington and Ty Montgomery — are coming off significant injuries and likely won’t be full-go until training camp.
It will be interesting to see why Morgan Burnett, Quinten Rollins, Joe Thomas, Corey Linsley and T.J. Lang were held back.
The remaining guys better heal real quick or they can just go ahead and get in the unemployment line. Every opportunity to participate and catch the coaching staff’s eye is valuable when you’re a long shot to make the roster.