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Ross joins cornerback battle

Aug 15, 2012 -- 3:53pm
Photo/Associated Press via

GREEN BAY – While Casey Hayward did well while working with the No. 1 defense in practice this week, there’s another darkhorse in the Green Bay Packers’ No. 2 cornerback competition, according to cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt: Brandian Ross.

Ross, who spent last season on the Packers’ practice squad, hasn’t been mentioned much in camp, with Jarrett Bush, Davon House, Sam Shields and Hayward all ahead of him on the depth chart. But the guy who’s best remembered for intercepting an Aaron Rodgers pass and returning it for a pick-six touchdown during the 2011 Family Night Scrimmage is in the mix as well, Whitt insisted.

In fact, Ross could see extensive playing time Thursday night against Cleveland.

“There’s a collective group of good players, I’ll throw Ross right there in the equation. He’s done as much or more than Casey,” Whitt said. “He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s physical. I like the kid. He just has to sit there and it’s rotational thing right now. He’ll get his opportunity to show what he can do here, too. He’s going to get a lot of snaps.”

Hayward, a second-round pick from Vanderbilt, has taken advantage of additional work with House (shoulder) and Shields (elbow) sidelined, but he has to do more, Whitt said.

“He’s in the mix. He has to show that he can go in there and play with the 1s, but it’s a great opportunity for him because he’s a very confident young man, he thinks he can do it, and now it’s on his shoulders,” Whitt said. “When one guy goes down, the next guy has the opportunity to come in and show what they can do. That’s how jobs are won and lost in the NFL. Everybody in the room who’s still healthy, still practicing has the opportunity to show what they can against a higher level of competition.”

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