The Packers will play the Chargers in their first preseason game at nowhere close to full strength.
Mike McCarthy has already ruled out Marshall Newhouse, Brandon Saine and Sam Shields among others for Thursday, leaving the window of opportunity for guys like Herb Taylor, Du'ane Bennett, and Casey Heyward to further establish their NFL careers, whether it is as a member of the Packers or not.
It is the first player listed, Taylor, that concerns me the most.
With Newhouse out, and Derek Sherrod still not ready to play, Taylor it would seem would be the next man up in the rotation at left tackle. And based on the comments Mike McCarthy said today, it would appear that Taylor might get a long look at left tackle. Brian Carriveau summed the situation up succinctly:
Based upon McCarthy's comments, I'm inferring that Herb Taylor will be the starting left tackle for Thursday's preseason opener.
I understand this is training camp, and all players are being analyzed with a fine tooth comb, trying to determine if they are going to be part of the future of this team. But we are talking about the MVP of the league, the most important player on the team, being protected on his blind side by someone like Taylor, a player who has not taken a snap in the regular season since 2008. It is something I am not comfortable with-at all.
Even if Rodgers were to play only one series (a very good possibility) rolling the dice with Taylor protecting Rodgers is potentially putting Rodgers at huge risk for injury. One quick move off the edge by one of the Chargers defenders could result in serious injury to Rodgers. An injury to Rodgers, and who knows what the season could turn into. Remember the disaster that Allen Barbre was in 2009? This could be another repeat of that.
If I was Mike McCarthy, I would not let Rodgers anywhere near the field Thursday night, and would give the Chargers a heavy dose of Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman. The MVP doesn't need one or two series to prove anything, and certainly doesn't need to be put at a bigger risk for injury.
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