Who will we be watching when the Green Bay Packers face the Kansas City Chiefs tonight? A bunch of backups!
Yes, the fourth preseason game is the shammiest sham of them all. Most starters — at the least the really valuable ones — aren’t going to play at all. That doesn’t make this game meaningless, though. Roster spots can still be won and lost. That’s where our focus will be.
Here’s who we’ll be watching.
Can any receiver distinguish himself in this final game? We know Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are going to be on the roster. After that, I wouldn’t say anything is certain. Yes, I am giving my boy Jerry Abberderry a roster spot, but people talk of depth at the receiver position. I don’t see it as depth. I see it as a bunch of mediocre schlubs who have been unable to distinguish themselves. That goes for that POS Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis and Ty Montgomery. That brings me to my other guy, undrafted free agent Geronimo Allison. Big guy, can play the outside — something the Packers don’t have a lot of. He’s still a long shot, but I would like nothing more than to see him have a huge game and kick one of these other turds off the roster. It’s not probable, but I am not giving up on having a Davante Adams Gets Released Party just yet.
Speaking of Jeff Janis, he returned to practice this week with a club on his hand. He won’t be playing receiver anytime soon, but the Packers obviously brought him back because they need help on special teams. With two hands, Janis is their best special teams player. With one hand and a club? No one is really sure he will be able to tackle anyone. We’ll see. Janis should get a roster spot based solely on his special teams play, especially with Chris Banjo sidelined. He would solidify that spot by making a couple one-handed tackles tonight.
Most of the intrigue lies on the defensive side of the ball, where there’s more depth than we’ve seen since probably the 1990s. One of those areas of depth is at outside linebacker. My most disappointing player of the preseason has been Jayrone Elliott. He was a terror in past preseasons. He’s done zilch this year. We speculated earlier this week that the Lerentee McCray trade possibly put Elliott back on the roster. That’s no certainty. The Packers maybe just kept him around another week because they gave him some sort of community service award on Wednesday. It certainly would have been awkward handing that award to a guy that just got cut. We’ll see. I would suspect Elliott needs to show something tonight to stick around.
Off to the secondary, where the Packers look like they have six NFL-caliber safeties. The last three guys on that list are Chris Banjo, Kentrell Brice and Marwin Evans. I don’t know how you keep six safeties, but then again, this is a regime that once kept three fullbacks. If you look at it from the perspective of the best 53, these three guys are likely among them. On the flip side, you’re giving up depth at another position if you keep six safeties. Banjo and Brice are on my roster. Evans is borderline, but only because he’s the sixth fucking safety! If both guys continue their play from the first three contests, I don’t see a way the Packers can cut either of them.
There’s a similar contest going on at cornerback. You’ve got Demetri Goodson, Robertson Daniel and Josh Hawkins battling for maybe one or two spots. Goodson will be suspended to start the season and won’t count against the roster. That still doesn’t mean he’s safe to stick around until his suspension is up. There’s no reason for the Packers to keep a guy they have no intention of keeping after his suspension. I don’t like Goodson. Never have, never will. He’s been sucking up a roster spot that belonged to more deserving guys since he was drafted. I haven’t seen much from Daniel, although the coaches seem to like him. Hawkins, another undrafted free agent, looks to me like he belongs. He probably needs a good game tonight to actually make that happen, though.