Here’s what I’ll be keeping a close eye on tonight in preseason game #3 between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts.
1. TJ Lang has been named the official starter at LG, winning the battle against
rookie Derek Sherrod. Lang will see some speed against the Colts tonight,
seeing some time against former Chicago Bear Tommy Harris. The Packers
offense has allowed 9 QB sacks in the first two games. They need to shore up
that problem starting tonight.
2. James Starks is healthy and returns to action tonight. This is a big
opportunity for Starks, who could take the reins as the top halfback on the
roster. Mike McCarthy has said he’d like two tailbacks to share time,
meaning Ryan Grant and Starks could share time. But aside from an ankle
injury that has caused Starks to miss some time, he’s looked very good and
may be a step ahead of Grant.
3. There’s a logjam of backup wide receivers that are hoping the Packers will
keep 6 wide receivers. Chastain West, Tori Gurley and Brett Swain would
all be candidates to fill that extra receiver slot. It will likely come down to
special teams if the Packers keep six. Swain has excelled in that area the last
two years. Gurley blocked a pair of punts during practice this week to stand
out as well. West had a big game at WR last week, including a 97 yard TD
reception in the win over Arizona.
4. After Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk, there’s a pretty good battle going on
for backup spots. Robert Francois was with the team last year and is a
near lock to grab one of the spots. Rookie D.J. Smith has been solid and
is drawing weekly praise from the coaching staff. Coming on late is Cardia
Jackson, who has had a good week of practice.
5. Pat Lee vs. Josh Gordy for the last cornerback job. Lee has some catching
up to do. Gordy has been very impressive in this camp. Brandon
Underwood is back from injury and will have to stand out the last two weeks
to have a chance.
The Packers have to trim their roster to 80-players by 3pm Tuesday afternoon and then down to the final limit of 53 players by 5pm next Saturday.