Green Bay Packers starting free safety Darnell Savage Jr. sustained a hamstring injury during the team’s “Family Night” practice on August 5, but neither he nor head coach Matt LaFleur seemed worried about the issue afterward.
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Savage was participating in one-on-one matchups between wide receivers and defensive backs and pulled up limping after trying to cover Amari Rodgers on one of his routes. The 2019 first-round pick remained on the sideline for the rest of the practice with “ice wrapped around his leg,” but he shrugged off any concern when speaking with reporters at the end of the night.
“I don’t think it’s a concern,” Savage said, via Demovsky. “It’s a fast-people injury. Some of those things you can’t avoid. I’ll just handle it the right way and listen to those guys back there and I’ll be all right.”
Savage has been a critical piece of the Green Bay’s secondary for the past three years, starting in all but three games alongside veteran Adrian Amos and finishing among the top five safeties in pass breakups in each of his last two seasons. While he struggled a bit throughout the 2021 season, he remains a promising and reliable piece of the Packers’ coverage unit and would be difficult to replace if he missed any time.
Fortunately, LaFleur told reporters after the practice that he doesn’t believe there is much concern with Savage’s injury moving forward; although, he did mention he ended their showcase practice a little earlier than planned because several players were banged up with hamstring and groin issues.
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Vernon Scott Solidifying Place in Lineup
While Savage dropping out of the “Family Night” practice was concerning, it did provide an opportunity for Vernon Scott to showcase his progress for the Packers. Scott took Savage’s place with the starters during team drills on the night and delivered another solid practice after stringing together a couple of good ones recently.
Scott — a 2020 seventh-round pick — played 15 games during his rookie season as a rotational member of the Packers’ safety group, but he seemed to take a step backward in his second season and was relegated to a handful of special teams snaps. With the departure of Henry Black, though, Scott has been showing his coaches that he is the clear frontrunner to be the team’s third safety in the rotation for the upcoming season.
“Vernon’s done a nice job,” LaFleur said on August 5. “I think he’s really matured as a person, first and foremost, and I think that’s definitely had a major impact on his ability to go out there and play at a high level. And just the consistency with which he approaches the game, he’s definitely grown. He’s a consistent worker and he’s had a great attitude and I think it’s reflective of his play.”