Green Bay Packers: The final tuneup

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs in their preseason finale on Thursday night.  The game is scheduled to kickoff at 6:00 CT from Lambeau Field.  The Chiefs enter this game with a meaningless 1-2 record, while the Packers enter their preseason finale at 2-1.

Normally, the preseason finale is where the starters get their first bye week of the year, and the second and third stringers get their time in the limelight.  However, with the recent loss of center J.C. Tretter to a fractured knee, the Packers coaching staff might want quarterback Aaron Rodgers to get a few reps with the new center, rookie Corey Linsley.  If Rodgers can play a few series and get some sort or rhythm down with Linsley, the Packers should be in good shape.

While most of the starters will be getting the night off, some of the focus should be on the surprising battle for the Packers backup quarterback job.  Usually, nobody cares or even knows who the backup quarterback is.  But, after Rodgers got hurt last year, the Packers need to make sure they have the right guy in place if Rodgers goes down again.

All along, I have had Matt Flynn as the number two quarterback on the depth chart, with Scott Tolzien as the solid number three.  But, Tolzien has consistently made the case this preseason that he should be the one to backup Aaron Rodgers.  He has shown the ability to air it out downfield, while Flynn has looked shaky, often going to the check down.  Even though Flynn was the one who won more games as a starter last year, the job is not completely his.

Along with the backup QB battle, another battle to watch is who will replace B.J. Raji, who is lost for the year with torn right biceps.  Right now, it looks like Josh Boyd will be the next man up, but newly acquired defensive tackle Letroy Guion is expected to play for the first time this preseason, and could potentially work himself into a starting role.

One week from Thursday, the NFL season will officially be underway.  Hopefully in this last preseason game, the Packers will not suffer any more injuries and can be fully equipped and prepared to face the Seattle Seahawks.  The games that count are approaching.  The time is almost near.