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Packers DL Letroy Guion Takes First Step Back from Injury

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Packers DL Letroy Guion Takes First Step Back from Injury

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Letroy Guion by Benny Sieu—USA TODAY Sports.

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Letroy Guion by Benny Sieu—USA TODAY Sports.

The timing couldn't have been better.

Just three days after veteran Packers defensive lineman was injured in the team's preseason win over the Oakland Raiders this past Friday, fellow defensive lineman Letroy Guion practiced for the first time on Monday since training camp opened in Green Bay.

It appears as if Raji will be lost for the season with a torn biceps, and Guion is being looked at to perhaps fill the void.

"It's always at an urgency when a man goes down," said Guion. "It makes me have to step up. I happen to be that guy, so I'm going to take all my steps forward to do what I got to do and get prepared."

Guion took the first step on Monday, coming off the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list with a hamstring pull reportedly suffered while training on his own during the offseason.

Monday ended what had been a disappointing training camp since being signed as a free agent back in March.

Time was running out for Guion to return for the Packers' all-important regular season opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFL's annual Kickoff game on Thursday Sept. 4 in primetime.

No doubt about it, missing nearly a month of training camp was not the ideal way to begin his 2014 campaign, but for Guion, it's better late than never. And to hear him say it, Guion felt good taking part in his first practice.

"I feel like I'm in pretty good shape," said Guion. "I ran around today, huffing and puffing. My legs feel good, my body feels good, so I feel like I'm there physically."

Despite taking a big step forward on Monday, it was just one of many for the former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman, where he spent the first six years of his career.

The coaching staff had Guion on a short leash at Monday's practice held at Ray Nitschke Field and open to the public, the first opportunity for fans and the media to see Guion since minicamp.

"I thought he looked explosive," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "I really liked what I saw from Letroy. Coming off the injury, I thought he got off to a good start. We're obviously limiting his reps, but I thought he had quality reps today."

Neither McCarthy nor Guion would say whether the defensive lineman would return in time to play in the Packers' preseason finale on Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to McCarthy, how Guion fares in Wednesday's practice will determine if they allow him to see him in a game environment just three days removed from his first practice.

"He's going to be treated like every other player," said McCarthy. "There's a process that every one of our guys has gone through. You go back to the beginning of training camp, and we'll take another step further I guess it will be on Wednesday's practice and getting some more reps and keep progressing. But I think it would be foolish to throw him out there and give him a full load."

To be sure, Guion isn't guaranteed of a roster spot on the Packers' regular-season roster.

After missing nearly a month of practice, the Packers essentially have an unknown quantity on their hands. Over the course of the month of August, they've also seen the emergence of undrafted rookie Mike Pennel, who is making a major push to win a spot on the 53-man roster.

But Guion is also highly experienced, something Pennel and some of the other young defensive linemen don't have.

"I am very confident," said Guion. "I've been in the league at least seven years now, going on this year. I am very skilled, very talented at the position down there. So I'm just going to go out there and do what I got to do."

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor at Cheesehead TV and its "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (38) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Eric Bretl's picture

nothing to see here

jeremyjjbrown's picture

If he can make more than 12 tackles I suppose he can replace Raji.

Icebowler's picture

I'm just not sure if Guion and Boyd are big enough to demand double teams. If not, one of the other teams Guards will easily make it to the second level and our ILB play will be even worse. Even if Pennel is for real, he's still a rookie and that scares me. You know Seattle and "Beastmode" are going to just run up the middle until we can stop them.

Stroh's picture

Packers are getting away from the behemoth DL and the 2 gap style of the 34 D. Look at Datone and Daniels being the starting ends in the base 34. They are penetrators and disruptors. That's what the want from the DL now, including the NT. Packers seem to be moving toward a one gap 34 Defense. That means that you no longer need a huge space eater taking on multiple blockers. Dallas played a one gap 34 w/ a NT that was barely 300 lbs for quite awhile. If they are moving to a one gap attacking 34 D, Boyd is plenty big enough. I think the Packers realized that the Pickett, Jolly and Raji 2 gap 34 DL won't cut it vs the mobile QB's. Daniels and Datone are very much in the one gap mold. Boyd also played NT in college, so he knows what to expect. He'll be fine if he's doing one gap, he should even be able to hold up w/ some 2 gap responsibilities.

Pennel has some talent but he's been undisciplined in college and should have dominated the level of competition. He got suspended 2x's while at ASU. He's got a long ways to go just to reach his physical abilities and he's never shown he can do it. His consistency, determination and dedication are in serious question. He's got enough talent to play in the NFL, but he's not nearly consistent enough. Lotta work ahead for him... Good player, some talent, but don't buy the hype.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Packers seem to be moving toward a one gap 34 Defense. "

This is what McCarthy promised us in 2009 when they hired Capers.

Stroh's picture

Capers has always been a 2 gap style 34 D coach. To my knowledge he's never coached a one gap 34 D. Not that I don't think he can't or doesn't know it. I think McCarthy told him he wanted to use a one gap 34 to take advantage of Daniels and Datone particularly. To some degree it also fits Raji better to since he is better when allowed to penetrate than just absorb blockers.

I think what they promised when Capers was hired was a more aggressive and physical D. And for the most part we got exactly that in the first couple years under Capers. Using a one gap 34 D is new for Capers, if that is indeed what they are moving toward.

The Packers won't say it now, but IMO as the season goes on it'll become clear they are using a one gap 34. All the DL now are more penetrators and disruptors, not guy like Pickett and Jolly. They were the 2 gappers, Daniels and Jones are one gap penetrators.

johnnyd17's picture

any NFL veteran of 6 seasons would not be an unknown quantity...lots of film on this guy...a bargain for sure

lebowski's picture

Still rooting really hard for Pennel, would love to have a presence like him in the middle.

GoldFinger's picture

Pennel at some point this season will be starting. The guy just needs some reps and get the mental part down. Once he does we're talking domination. He's pretty much unblockable with one guy.

If the draft were held today and everyone had a do over based on the work we have seen so far this preseason, Pennel would probably be a top 10 pick in the first round. Elliott's probably a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Thornton probably is the free agent that Pennel was. How Teddy T lands some of these free agents for nothing is amazing. Doesn't matter where they are drafted as long as Teddy T keeps restocking the talent I don't care.

Stroh's picture

Crazy talk. No wah on earth Pennel would be a 1sr rd pick, much less a top 10 pick. Your infatuation is WAY over board. He has some talent but there are reasons he's bounced around and ended up at a small school. Teans don't overlook those issues. You seem completely unaware of them.

GoldFinger's picture

Hey Aaron Nagler!! WTF? Why is this guy responding to me and you are not going after him like you did to me. Tell the guy to quit responding to me ok? I have not responded to any of his posts since you told the both of us to knock it off or be banned.

Since you told the both of us a couple weeks ago to knock it off he has continued to respond to me including yesterday calling me "golddigger" which is an offensive term expecially to women.

I said it before Nagler. I want nothing to do with this guy. I don't give a crap what this guy says. He's a loud mouth know it all and he can't help himself but to respond to pretty much anyone here that posts and he always tries to pick a fight. He just did it with me right now calling me "crazy talk" over Pennel. Of course it pisses me off but I know if I respond back you will suddenly miraculously appear and ban me. Look at most of his posts. Pretty much everyone here can't stand the wind bag. Tell him what you told me. Apparently he didn't get your memo. Fair is fair damnit!!

Stroh's picture

Like I said Pennel has talent but he's got a lot of growing up to do. Did you know he was suspended 3x's while at ASU and lost his ride? He lacks consistency and dedication to his craft. He should have dominated at CO-pueblo w/ his physical ability (4th - 5th rd) but he didn't even dominate in D2 or whatever level he ended up playing at. He did community college and just to try to stay on the field.

Don't you ever wonder how a guy w/ some talent cant stay in a D1 program? Or why he didn't dominate such a low level of completion that he did play at?

You should research the guy a little if your going to tout him so much. He's got temper, dedication and consistency issues that got him in trouble. Not nearly as good as the hype your bestowing on him.

Just talking football. Sorry you can't handle the truth.

JimTaylor31's picture

Well actually insinuating that Pennel would be a top 10 pick is considered "crazy talk" by most folks. You gotta be kidding? Both he and Elliott need to show something against some #1's before we get too carried away. I remember Vic S'oto and other UDFAs who flashed in the preseason and then faded away. Let's not put them in the Shields and Tramon class just yet. Hope so, but it's still way too early.

GoldFinger's picture

I don't mind you disagreeing with me Jim. That is fine. In my professional opinion I believe I am dead on right after watching Pennel. He was once called a "once in 20 years" talent by the Arizona State defensive line coach. I am seeing exactly that in these early stages so I am going on record now and saying he would be a top 10 first round pick if there was a do over. People still are skeptical and might need to see him play at least his entire rookie season than maybe they'll change their minds and agree with me. I have the ability to see things a little faster and ahead than most people so I don't mind saying what to some might seem out there or a little crazy.

I have been around the block or two. I know a great player when I see one. It doesn't take long for me. Mike Pennel has that elite ability/strength like a Reggie White but at the nose tackle position. I don't care if everyone here disagrees with me. That is fine. He's a guy that slipped thru the cracks due to immaturity, social media, etc but the talent was always there.

He's a very smart guy you can see that just by listening to him. He got off on the wrong foot in college and paid for it. He's right where he belongs. He's playing football for the Green Bay Packers. No college struggles anymore. He was born to play football and he's on the verge greatness shortly. He's already given me plenty of flash plays... more than any other rookie on the team this year. I'm sold.

Clay's picture

Gold I have a question...

You stated, "In my professional opinion".

Are you in fact a football professional? And in what capacity?

I am a very amateur fan that studies the game a fair amount.

I like your optimism and am no fan of the trolls here, but wow you are like over the top confident in the Pack in every post.

I think you and another poster here may bump heads because you both speak in an authoritarian tone.

If you are really a football professional believe me I am greatly enthused by your optimism about the Pack. I pray to the Gods that Pennel is nothing short of a combination of Godzilla and Hercules, but the fact is we don't know. I suspect you are an avid fan like most of us, who is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.

So, if referencing yourself as a professional was just a figure of speech you were using, you may want to just be a little more humble with the opinions and realize none of us fans have a crystal ball including you.

That way you and aforementioned unnamed poster may yet become friends too!

I hope this comment was taken as friendly unsolicited advice, nothing more, nothing less.

Go Pack.

Stroh's picture

JT31. I know your smarter than to buy anything he's saying. Pennel isn't a top 10 overall pick, he isn't a 1st round pick and he isn't a once a generation (every 20 yrs) kinda player. He probably didn't even know Pennel was at ASU (not Arizona) or CO-Pueblo.

I live in the Phx area and was familiar w/ Pennel a little. Never heard anything out of the ASU coaches like that. Tho I would love to read about it. Think he has a link?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Um yeah, he's responding to you, not belittling you up in a comment on a some thread you haven't chosen to participate in.

GoldFinger's picture

um Jeremy, he's not supposed to respond to me at all. If he continued to do so Aaron Nagler was going to ban him. The same thing applied to me. I have abided by Nagler's terms, he has not even going so far as to call me "golddigger" in an attempt to piss me off and start another round of fights. Now mind your own business. This is between Nagler, myself and the other person who I shall not name because if I did Nagler would ban me.

Just asking Nagler to either ban him or tell him again what he told me and give him one last warning in case the guy claims he didn't read what Nagler told us both.

White92's picture

I love Guion's confidence. He seems ready to grab this opportunity.

White92's picture

WHat happens with Raji? I'm sure some of you arm chair GM's know..injury settlement? IR?

He was on a 1 year deal right? Or am I misremembering?

Evan's picture

IR then free agency (maaaaybe special IR to return designation, but that seems unlikely).

I'd be cool with re-signing him to another 1-year deal, but that will depend on the play of Pennel, Boyd and Guion.

Stroh's picture

Given that he'll be coming off a season ending injury, I think the Packers might very well be able to re-sign him on another short term deal. As of right now, Raji is clearly better than Boyd, Guion or Pennel. A year could change that, but I doubt it. I'd be happy if he re-signed.

pooch's picture

was invisible all pre season,Pennel is the man,Christ Raji hasent done shit in 3 years,no one in the league offered him a contract

Evan's picture

"was invisible all pre season"

I don't think you were looking then. Raji was having a nice pre-season.

Stroh's picture

You do realize Raji was playing DE not NT for those season don't you? And an ideal 34 DE is about 6'5 290-300 lbs, not 6'2 340. Its a completely different positon w/ different skill sets that Raji just didn't have. Back at NT (finally) this year he was having a very good camp.

Maybe the Packers can replace him w/ a 3 headed approach, but its foolish not to realize that back at NT he is easily the best at his position!

GoldFinger's picture

Raji's career as a Packer is officially over. As for right now he's clearly the worst of the four DT's. Pennel will be the long term starter by next season and will be everything that Raji wasn't meaning one hell of football player. The injury was a blessing. Kind of like Favre finally retiring enabling Rodgers to finally get on the field.

pooch's picture

I couldn't agree more,have not seen Raji do anything this preseason.Let Pennel start Thursday,then bring in Guion or whatever to mop up

GoldFinger's picture

Exactly Pooch!! Don't ever let these people expecially you know who convince you otherwise. All people were excited because B.J. Raji was so dominating early in camp according to some of the media. Not coincidently he was going up against J.C. Tretter early who was just learning the ropes of playing the center position for the first time and that's why he was probably looking so good. It was all an aberration. Once Tretter established himself Raji went back to being invisible. Only a fool would believe this Raji character is suddenly going to turn it on after three years of turning it off. Give me a break!! Pennel is already better than Raji ever was. I am not kidding. If Raji didn't intercept that pass against the Bears what would he really be known for? Think about it.

pooch's picture

3 years of declining play turned down 8 million dollar contract and still could not produce last year for big contract.How much more incentive you need,loving Pennel he will be the man,has done more in preseason than Raji ever did his 1st year

Stroh's picture

Pennel has a little talent but you have to ask yourself why didn't dominate the competition at tiny CO-Pueblo? Why he got suspended 3x's from ASU? Why he had to play at a Community College? Don't buy the hype! Given all that, He's far more likely to let you down that he is to succeed!

If you wanna bury your head in the sand and ignore all those red flags that's your prerogative.

pooch's picture

get over yourself,he is playing for a living now,the incentive for him is out there,something Raji couldn't grasp

Stroh's picture

I guess you do like to bury your head in the sand, or is that your azz?!

pooch's picture

intelligent

GoldFinger's picture

Pooch, I don't know what to say. I have tried to report him for his condescending insulting reply to you and Aaron Nagler continues to look the other way. Apparently this guy either owns Cheesehead TV along with Nagler or Nagler is too afraid to ban him. Why? I don't know. I didn't think it was at all cool at how he responded to you but at the moment I am powerless to stop this. We need to gather up more troops on this. Maybe in time he'll listen and ban him for good. Right now this guy thinks he can do as he pleases. We need to put a halt to this.

JimTaylor31's picture

I'll be very surprised if Pennel turns out to be anything more than a rotational guy and maybe not a very effective rotational guy at that. He's just too green with too many red flags to expect anything more. It's nice to hope but past history is more often than not an indication of future results.

Stroh's picture

"past history is more often than not an indication of future results."

Spoken like the voice of reason.

johnnyd17's picture

maybe a Packer no more, put on IR...will get surgery and arm treatment...unless he will sign another 1 year deal...crazy thing is, just opinions but, maybe Ted should trade all the 1st round picks for later and more?

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