With the introduction of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in the NFL this year came a new rule getting rid of the third quarterback designation and allowing 46 players to be active on game day rosters this year instead of the previous 45 plus a third quarterback.
Here's our best guess at predicting Thursday's Week 1 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints.
The entire roster is included. Those bold and italicized are predicted to be inactive.
Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn
Running backs: Ryan Grant, James Starks, John Kuhn, Alex Green
Wide receivers: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb
Tight ends: Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor, D.J. Williams
Offensive line: Chad Clifton, T.J. Lang, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton, Bryan Bulaga, Marshall Newhouse, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Derek Sherrod
Defensive line: B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Mike Neal, Jarius Wynn, C.J. Wilson, Howard Green
Outside linebackers: Clay Matthews, Erik Walden, Frank Zombo, Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore, Vic So'oto
Inside linebackers: A.J. Hawk, Desmond Bishop, D.J. Smith, Robert Francois
Cornerbacks: Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush, Pat Lee, Davon House
Safeties: Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett, Charlie Peprah, M.D. Jennings
Specialists: Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode
- Tight end D.J. Williams is just further behind in his development than the Packers or perhaps anyone anticipated. He'll stay inactive on gamedays until his play on both offense and special teams is worth of a promotion or injuries occur ahead of him.
- Typically only seven offensive lineman are active on game days because they provide very little special teams value. The prediction here is that Marshall Newhouse will back up both tackle spots ahead of Derek Sherrod, at least to begin the season.
- Frank Zombo, Vic So'oto and Davon House have all been ruled out of Thursday's game.
- The thinking with putting M.D. Jennings on the inactive list is that the Packers will choose to go with the experience of a veteran player over the inexperience of a rookie in an emotionally charged season-opener. However, it could come down to who the better special teams players is between a guy like Pat Lee and Jennings.
- The biggest question mark is Mike Neal. He was limited in practice during the week, listed as questionable for the game, and the Packers may choose to err on the side of caution.
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