Packers Periscope: Preseason Week 4 vs Kansas City Chiefs

We’re almost there, folks. Week one vs the Chicago Bears is a little over a week away. Some of you may still remember the time the Packers played the Raiders on an 80-yard field in Canada. Thankfully, those days are long gone as we move on to the final week of preseason against Kansas City. This game means a lot for players on the roster bubble as it will be Green Bay’s last chance at evaluating.

Last year, the Packers ended their preseason facing the Chiefs in forgettable fashion. Both DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle put together flat outings after both threw at least one interception and combined for 180 yards in a 33-21 loss. One of the few players who made a last-second push was defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster who made two tackles for loss. Lancaster began the year on the practice squad but ended up having a solid end to his rookie season. Although, he has been pretty quiet this summer.

With Josh Jones now out of the picture, the Packers are in near desperation to find viable depth at inside linebacker. Oren Burks’ status for week one is still in question so this week they brought in James Folston and Nicholas Grigsby. LaFleur said the team will continue to evaluate this position but specifically highlighted the recent work of Ty Summers, James Crawford, and Brady Shelton. The newcomers will have to work fast if they want to stick around.

Perhaps the biggest storyline as the Packers prepare to end their preseason is the lack of reps for the starters. With field issues in Winnipeg, Green Bay sat 33 players against Oakland. One of them was Aaron Rodgers who has yet to play in a game this summer.

Following Sunday’s practice, LaFleur reassured the media that the starters will be ready for week one.

“We feel really good about where they’re at, they’ll be ready to go week one,” LaFleur said.

Time and time again, Rodgers has emphasized the importance of practice reps over reps taken in meaningless games. Still, the Packers final outing against the Chiefs will be huge for guys who don’t have a spot safely carved out on the final 53. Most will treat this game as an audition for the remaining 31 teams.

When it comes to position battles keep an eye on who starts and who performs at quarterback. Last week, Boyle and Kizer split halves but Boyle technically got the start. Boyle outperformed Kizer taking on backups throwing for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Kizer could only muster 24 yards on four completions and was sacked three times.

Also, the team is still undecided at who will start at left guard between veteran Lane Taylor and rookie Elgton Jenkins. Starters typically rest in week four of the preseason but Taylor and Jenkins could play a couple of series each.

Other than linebacker, a position to watch on defense is corner. It’s one of those positions where having a lot of depth can pay off down the stretch. Former undrafted free agent Chandon Sullivan has done some very nice things this summer in Green Bay. He is currently battling Will Redmond and Natrell Jamerson for one of the last remaining spots on the depth chart.

The Packers will have to officially announce the final roster by Saturday, August 31 at 4 p.m. ET.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (15)

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x24's picture

August 27, 2019 at 09:30 am

In a related topic- what is a solution to the NFL pre-season?

NFL wants more pre season games because they are a cash cow. Coaches don't want to play their starters for fear of injury (See "Winnipeg"). Starters insist that they don't need the reps...

And yet, I think we end up seeing a poor product in the first few games of the season. These first few games seem sloppy and often look like pre-season... It also seems like injuries are worse in the early weeks (IMHO)

Any solutions out there?

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Tundraboy's picture

August 27, 2019 at 11:57 am

No preseason games or at most, just one and more padded practices. And a 60 man roster.

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Slim11's picture

August 28, 2019 at 10:17 am

I agree that the first 2-4 games of the regular season are sloppy. IMO, there are several reasons.

First (these are in no particular order), the CBA which limits live practices needs to be modified. Tackling rolling "donuts" is not an adequate substitute for live drills. Practices are controlled enough to the point where injuries from these drills are mostly preventable. There are freak injuries in practices, even from non-contact drills.

Second, more controlled scrimmages instead of preseason games. IMO, the Raiders game was a cross between a controlled scrimmage and a game. Eliminating kickoffs was a good decision in this game. Travel schedules and logistics for a controlled scrimmage aren't too different from one another, so costs, for the most part, won't change.

Third, and this is a negative statement as well as a positive statement, the 60 player roster is worth considering. There will be changes to the salary cap but will also create more roster opportunities for younger players. A larger roster dilutes the talent league-wide. The current system allows for better development opportunities for marginal players. A NFL-Europe system needs to be developed again. HOF QB Kurt Warner is a great example of why such a system is valuable.

Just my two cents...

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2019 at 10:24 am

"A larger roster dilutes the talent league-wide. "

With practice squads, teams effectively have a 63-man roster now, though. It's just that the last 10 spots aren't protected. I agree on larger rosters and no practice squad for the next CBA.

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greengold's picture

August 28, 2019 at 06:16 pm

Funny. I look at expanded rosters as a way to put a better product on the field. Players have more time to stick with one team and learn their systems. The way things are now, seems too difficult for teams to keep up with injury and limited personnel capable of running their systems.

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Lare's picture

August 27, 2019 at 10:32 am

IMO, eliminate all preseason games. Go to a 17 week regular season with 2 bye weeks. Raise rosters from 53 to 60. Get serious about player safety.

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Rak47's picture

August 27, 2019 at 12:30 pm

They're already on a 17 week schedule with one bye week, so adding another bye will only accomplish an extra weeks rest while extending the season. It does nothing to replace revenue from lost preseason games. A better solution might be to extend the season to 20 weeks with two bye weeks giving the regular season 18 games with 2 byes to rest and heal.
I also think if they want players to heal better and be safer they should seriously consider removing the ban on HGH and stem cell treatment and let the team docs administer HGH to all players to promote healing and tissue regeneration. It may be the only way to solve the concussion issue in the long run.

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Coldworld's picture

August 27, 2019 at 12:36 pm

I don’t think that is viable in isolation. Preseason is important for the non established players. The NFL is finding it harder and harder to find players that are ready for NFL action.

That’s nit to say that a pre season is a good solution, it’s just to point out that it is important in a way that often gets overlooked, particularly if roster expansion is considered.

I would like to see a spring/early summer league run by the franchises. This would help young players get acclimatized, additional coaching and experience.

I would have more padded and a limited contact period during a shorter camp, perhaps three weeks, with an internal scrimmage prior to the regular season

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greengold's picture

August 27, 2019 at 11:48 am

Lare! Reading my mind!

The 53 man roster should be a thing of the past. The NFL product is weakened by not allowing more players on the roster. Also, there should be an open return to players who are placed on IR, not just two designates.

As for the preseason, they ought to cut it to 2 games, adding 2 more to the regular season. They also should add another bye week. 20 week regular season with 2 bye weeks per team, 18 games total.

I can see two preseason games to evaluate your talent against other teams.

They cannot add games to the regular season schedule without adding more players to each team's roster allowance. They ought to add the full roster for game days too. Why did they think limiting that was a good idea?

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greengold's picture

August 27, 2019 at 11:47 am

The game has evolved. The NFL should evolve along with it.

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Big gar's picture

August 27, 2019 at 12:13 pm

One preseason game all 90 play. 65 man roster regular season, 55 man game day. 2-3 bye Weeks. Season to start the second week in September. Super bowl to be played the weekend of president day in February.

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Ustabeayooper's picture

August 27, 2019 at 02:53 pm

The owners are making too much money on preseason games and won't give them up. The CBA restricts the amount of time and contact players have in preseason. Add to these factors the reluctance of teams to put anything but "vanilla" play concepts on tape for opponents to scout and, the quality of play during September suffers. We have little or no idea how our team will perform on September 5th. Fortunately, neither do the Bears.

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

August 27, 2019 at 03:12 pm

Here’s your solution to the problem of getting to see rookies play ball so they can be accurately evaluated — have a rookies-only league where they can play against other rookies from other teams while still maintaining their connection to a single team. Preseason games for established players is ridiculous. And it’s not worth the price of admission; it’s no wonder there are also so many empty seats in these games.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 27, 2019 at 07:01 pm

All good suggestions for the preseason. The league and players will have to hash this out in the upcoming CBA. It is clear that the current setup is a failure at all levels. Players are NOT ready for the regular season. Preseason games are no longer the cash cow for the owners, and the coaches can not get their teams prepared for the season which shows up with increased injuries and at best sloppy play. Both sides are going to have to give if they wish to keep pro football as king. Question is, do both sides understand how much danger they have put pro football in. We'll see.

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Nick Perry's picture

August 28, 2019 at 07:07 am

LOL...Wasn't this post about the Packers vs Chiefs Preseason game #4?

#1 Priority is NO MORE INJURIES. I don't care if it's an audition for the bottom half or last 10 to 15 spots on the roster. I care those last 10 to 15 players are HEALTHY week one against the Bears.

#2 Someone on the roster JUMPS out at a position the Packers have a ton of depth. Gute then works his magic and is able to pull off a trade for an ILB. In 2007 Ted pulled off a great trade and brought in Ryan Grant for what a 6th rounder?

#3 If #2 doesn't pan out another team cuts an ILB the Packers could use. While I know it's doubtful the Packers suddenly solve their issues at ILB through the waiver wire, I still hold out hope we can IMPROVE the position through waivers.

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