Announced earlier this week, Aaron Rodgers will not be active in the Packers’ first preseason game.
Judging by the fact he is taking reps with the first team this week, Brett Hundley will play significant minutes against the Eagles, starting at quarterback.
While Rodgers certainly requires as much protection as possible, there is some concern that his limited minutes in the 2016 preseason led to the Packers’ flat start.
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With opening games looming against Seattle and Atlanta, McCarthy can’t afford to start this season with anything less than Rodgers at his best.
It would be reassuring to see Rodgers handle a series or two, but Hundley’s capable hands can take it from there. Hundley showed his arm strength at Family Night with a long-distance toss into the practice net.
Rodgers does these routinely, but his otherworldly gifts are often taken for granted.
On the offensive side, McCarthy has sworn to establish the run, and with two drafted RB’s and several UDFA’s in the backfield, we can expect a steady supply of ground attack.
Running plays have the added benefit of giving offensive linemen a great way to shake off the rust and exert some physical contact.
While Ty Montgomery will see plenty of action, expect Jamaal Williams, 4th-rounder from BYU, to get several carries.
The preseason always reminds fans of the freak injury suffered by Jordy Nelson against the Steelers; so it is hoped that he will remain in use just long enough to get into a rhythm with Rodgers.
Cobb and Adams will probably also see limited action.
Wide receivers Malachi Dupre and DeAngelo Yancey may see some meaningful snaps, along with roster hopeful Max McCaffrey.
Tight end Martellus Bennett will probably be used sparingly, along with Lance Kendricks.
Richard Rodgers remains the only player with a touchdown catch after Saturday night’s game; he will surely look to add more.
The Eagles’ secondary should provide plenty of opportunities to score while making Packers fans feel reassured about their own depth at defensive back.
The departure of Latroy Guion leaves only seven defensive linemen on the roster, and, after last year, depth will be a reason for concern.
Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry can expect to see plenty of snaps. Mike Daniels will probably get a series or two, just to set the aggressive tone the Packers will need.
Izaah Lunsford will be playing to win a practice squad role, and Brian Price will look to build on his notoriety after starting the first fight of training camp.
With the WWE title belt at stake, the offense will have the edge in depth; the D-line must bring the nasty attitude.
The 3-4 base defense means lots of linebackers will see action; their ranks will include Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones at times. Keep an eye on #57, David Talley of Grand Valley State.
His production at a small school will be difficult to reproduce in the NFL but is a dark horse candidate to make the roster.
Johnathan Calvin from Mississippi State should merit an extended look, as well.
Kentrell Brice and Josh Jones will most likely play in multiple positions. At corner, potential starter Davon House may not play due to lingering hamstring tightness.
Quinton Rollins will get a good share of snaps; Damarious Randall and LaDarius Gunter hope to atone for the regression of last year.
Daquan Holmes and Josh Hawkins should get plenty of playing time Thursday.
On special teams, Mason Crosby will look to wash away the bad taste of the end of Family Night, where he missed three field goals.
He will have had time to build rapport with Justin Vogel, his new holder, and newcomer Derek Hart at long snapper.
The final score will be irrelevant, but certainly, the Packers’ depth should be more than enough to win at home against the Eagles’ many question marks.