What I’ll be looking for Thursday night

The Green Bay Packers open the 2017 preseason Thursday night and as preseason games go it’s not going to be a game for the starters. No Aaron Rodgers, no Jordy Nelson, and I highly doubt the likes of Clay Matthews ¬†or Nick Perry play much, if at all. This is a game for the youngsters.

The main guy I will be looking at is probably the same as everybody else, quarterback Brett Hundley. The Packers really need Hundley to excel this preseason. Aaron Rodgers is obviously the key to the season, but in this day an age of concussions and Rodgers’ injury history, it would behoove the Packers to have a guy that can win games in a pinch. Hundley looked the part two years ago but an injury robbed him of last year’s preseason. We don’t really know what the Packers have in him.

I don’t believe in any way that the Packers are looking to trade Hundley. Why would they? Nobody is giving up a third-round pick for a guy who has never played. And, nobody in the league is even looking for a quarterback right now. Hundley is not going anywhere. The Packers are not going into the season with Joe Callahan as their backup quarterback.

Another offensive position of intrigue is running back. Ty Montgomery is the starter but is already being pressed by rookie Jamaal Williams. With Montgomery not likely to play much Williams will get a prime opportunity to show his stuff. Another draft pick, Aaron Jones, has also been turning heads. I don’t think Montgomery’s job is safe by any means.

Nor do I think wide receivers Jeff Janis or Trevor Davis are guaranteed jobs. I could easily see some turnover there with guys like Max McCaffrey and Michael Clark looking more polished already than either Janis or Davis. Janis is a great special teams player so has the edge there, but I think every job is open after Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.

On defense I want to see how the linebackers shake out without Matthews and Perry on the field. Both of the aforementioned players have a history of injury so who is backing them up is huge. I actually have confidence with the Packers’ inside linebackers, but it is still a position where no job is certain.

In the secondary the Packers’ star free agent signing, Davon House, is injured and likely won’t play. That is the last thing House could afford to happen to him after being benched in Jacksonville last year and cut during the offseason. I think the Packers’ cornerbacks are still a major point of concern. Hopefully first round draft pick Kevin King shows up big in his first game as a Packer. Holdovers Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins need to shine as well.

Not worried about Mason Crosby, but new punter Justin Vogel will be under the spotlight for the first time. He has looked great in practice but we have all seen that go right down the tubes once the lights come on.

I love preseason games, the only thing you have to worry about is injury. Go Pack!


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