By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on August 19, 2014
The Green Bay Packers are preparing for the most important preseason game on the schedule. Even though there are several players who are locked into a roster spot, the Packers still must find the right players to fill numerous roles. Here’s a look at 10 players who are on the roster bubble entering the third preseason game.
My gut tells me the Packers will keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in response to what happened last season. However, it appears more likely that Green Bay will stick with only two, with the backup being Scott Tolzien. The Packers know that if they cut Matt Flynn he is unlikely to sign somewhere else, which means he will be readily available if they need him. Tolzien has shown more in camp and preseason.
Head coach Mike McCarthy can be heard referencing Chris Banjo in a positive light from time to time. On top of that, Banjo is a staple on special teams, which means he’s very valuable. With that said, Banjo also plays safety, which is actually a position that has seen a huge upgrade in depth. Because of that, Banjo could be seen as expendable when Green Bay is trying to make their final roster cuts.
It’s hard to see John Kuhn’s name on this list because he has been a fan favorite ever since he stepped foot in Green Bay. With that said, Kuhn is someone who could be taking up a valuable roster spot for an up and coming running back. Even though Kuhn does a tremendous job on special teams and in pass blocking on offense, the Packers have to decide if his overall worth is still valuable enough.
With the tight end competition becoming increasingly more intense, it is becoming clear which players deserve a roster spot and which ones will get cut. Ryan Taylor is on the bubble because he is one of the best special teams players the Packers have. And, if you think that isn’t important you’re wrong. The issue with Taylor is that his progress on offense has been halted, which means he’s likely someone Green Bay can cut.
Mike Pennel being on the roster bubble is actually a good thing because it means he has a shot at making the team. McCarthy is a huge fan of Pennel, as he has nothing but positive words to describe the defensive tackle. At this point, Pennel must step up in the third preseason game to show that he deserves a spot on the team as a backup defensive lineman.
Running back LaDarius Perkins continues to prove that the Packers would be foolish to cut him. In the first preseason game, he rushed for 18 yards on 10 attempts. He followed up that performance with five attempts for 25 rushing yards against the Rams. Basically, Perkins has given the Packers every reason to keep, which means someone is going to have to go.
Undrafted rookie Joe Thomas avoided a serious knee against the Titans. The inside linebacker was knocked out after only four defensive snaps. Thomas is someone who has made a great impression on the Green Bay coaching staff during training camp, preseason and family night, which is why his playing time increased in practice. He’s someone who could be an impact player on special teams.
The Packers have a big decision when it comes to keeping five or six wide receivers. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin and Davante Adams are locks to make the team. Jeff Janis has done enough in preseason to garner the fifth roster spot. The sixth spot, if it exists, is what receivers are still competing over. Chris Harper had a big preseason game in Week 1, but he was non-existent in Week 2. An improvement must happen in Week 3.
Colt Lyerla’s severe knee injury that he suffered in training camp is incredibly disappointing because he’s someone who has shown so much promise. In fact, the Packers don’t appear likely to cut him, which is typical with injured undrafted rookies, because of his great potential. Regardless, he’s still someone who is on the bubble due to an injury that will keep him out for several more weeks.
Myles White was virtually a lock to make the team this season, especially after rookie Jeff Abbrederis went down with a season-ending injury. Unfortunately, White has failed to take advantage of the opportunity. In the first preseason game, he hauled in one reception for 12 yards. In this past week’s preseason game, he caught one pass for two yards. Needless to say, White is someone who I believe will not make 53-man roster.
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