This morning we happily featured an item in our daily links regarding the Packers reportedly contacting players and beginning to make arrangements for team meetings on Saturday. It was just a few short hours ago when I typed those words, and I remember smiling widely as I sipped an exceptionally disgusting cup of Foldgers coffee.

Even though our childish giddiness is eventually shot down nearly every time, we’re still suckers for punishment, and we squeal with delight at the sight of a fresh, piping hot news item hinting at the end of the lockout. This time it came in the form of Mike Florio’s report, and the inevitable punch to the gut followed by a swift judo chop to the groin came from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen this afternoon.

Chris, why do you hate us?

Mortensen relayed the predictable denial from the Packers, who insisted the lockout muzzle has remained tightly fastened on coaches and front office staff, and no one has spoken to the players.

The team official said the organization internally has made contingencies that include contacting players for travel arrangements, because the majority of its players do not reside in the immediate Green Bay area.

However, the official was emphatic that players have not been notified, formally or informally, to report to team headquarters Saturday.

For many teams the concept of staying totally silent during the lockout is likely a ship that sailed so long ago that it’s already come back to port for another voyage, or three. It’s difficult to believe that an entire league of coaches hasn’t had at least mild interaction with players, even if it’s through a safe third party.

The existence of a possible game of telephone tag was even hinted at in Mort’s report. His source conceded veteran players are allowed to inform teammates that they “should be prepared to report Saturday on a voluntary basis for medical exams and informal meetings once the NFL gives the green light.”

Either way, this little bit of media squabbling is a mildly entertaining break from the all-too-familiar labor bickering. As Florio notes, Pro Football Talk’s initial report was confirmed as “100 percent true” by Jason Wilde after he talked to two team sources. And Wilde, um, works for ESPN Milwaukee.

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