Green Bay Packers quarterbackAaron Rodgers
spins a ball on his finger during the team’s opening weekend of training camp.
* – denotes starter(s)
It is mentioned practically everywhere about how the Packers routinely have gone into and throughout many recent seasons carrying only two quarterbacks on the roster (Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com noted they have done so every year since 2008), but there is plenty of reason to believe that trend will change this year.
Last year Green Bay proved to be vastly unprepared behind Rodgers, and while it would be highly unrealistic to expect anything near his usual level of performance replicated by any level of backup, it is a spot that you do hope for at least some semi-manageable output to be present.
For much of the season, that backup slot was a mess. Seneca Wallace was a recently-unretired career backup we signed out of desperation that barely lasted a full game’s worth of time on the field and Tolzien was an inexperienced player picked up in September who ended up running into turnover troubles during his small stint as starter.
It took a combination of random luck, timing, and other teams’ roster moves (Oakland and Buffalo both let him go) for Matt Flynn to be welcomed back, and then even more luck to end up surviving a collapsing division with a 2-2-1 record behind him until Rodgers returned to steal the division from the Bears in Week 17.
This year the Packers would be prudent to have the backup position better stocked in case of another freak injury to Rodgers, and all indications seem to point to them taking measures to do so.
Flynn proved last year that while he isn’t quite on the level of a good permanent starter at QB, he definitely is a capable backup who can hold the team afloat for stretches, if needed.
Tolzien, despite his costly mistakes last year (5 INTs despite only 90 pass attempts), is a young player with a strong arm and upside that the team likes. As he is now, I don’t believe they see him as someone they want as the top backup, but through further development I would bet they see him as a possible QB2 to replace Flynn possibly as soon as next year.
As for Rettig, his best bet would be a chance at a practice-squad spot. Otherwise, just chalk him up as another training-camp/preseason body.