Scott Tolzien Has Prime Opportunity to Seal Green Bay Packers' Backup Job

By Sean Tehan
Scott Tolzien
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers (5-4) officially signed quarterback Matt Flynn to the 53-man roster on Tuesday and Flynn will backup Scott Tolzien this Sunday against the New York Giants (3-6).

From 2008-2011, Flynn served as Aaron Rodgers‘ backup quarterback before signing with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. Since leaving Green Bay, though, Flynn has bounced around the league with the Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills.

Flynn will replace Seneca Wallace on the active roster, who originally started in relief of an injured Rodgers last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) before suffering a groin injury and being replaced by Tolzien.

Tolzien had never even taken an NFL snap in a regular season game before last Sunday and played surprisingly well after being thrown into the fire. According to Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy, Tolzien was one of the few bright spots in Sunday’s loss, as McCarthy is rewarding Tolzien handsomely by giving him a prime opportunity to start this weekend.

Whenever Rodgers returns from his collarbone injury, it’s unclear whether the Packers would keep both Tolzien and Flynn on the active roster. With the severity of Rodgers’ injury, though, it’d be hard not to imagine the Packers holding onto three quarterbacks for the remainder of the season.

Historically under McCarthy’s watch, though, Green Bay prefers to only keep two quarterbacks on the active roster. If history proves to be true in the weeks ahead, there could be a two-horse race between Tolzien and Flynn for the second-string quarterback job. Right now, Tolzien is in the driver’s seat to keep his job.

According to McCarthy, Tolzien only had a “handful” of repetitions with the first-team offense last week in practice, making his performance against the Eagles far more impressive than expected.

With a full week of practice ahead of him and the opportunity to start ahead of Flynn, Tolzien could seal what has been a rather unstable spot for the past season and a half on the Packers’ roster with a solid showing on Sunday.

It won’t be easy for Tolzien, though, as Flynn was a rockstar backup quarterback while he was with the Packers. In two career starts with the Packers, Flynn completed 55-of-81 passes for 731 yards and nine touchdown passes.

Although Flynn was released by the Raiders and Bills earlier this season because of tendinitis in his right elbow, the Packers must have enough confidence in Flynn’s health to give him another opportunity in Green Bay.

Rodgers could be out for possibly three more games and it’s up to Tolzien or Flynn to keep Green Bay in the playoff hunt. McCarthy’s job is to give young players opportunities and Tolzien’s job this weekend is to take advantage of the opportunity which McCarthy has given him. It’s one game, but Tolzien’s job ultimately depends on it.

Sean Tehan is an NFL Writer for Follow him on Twitter @SeanTehan, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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