Three takeaways from the Green Bay Packers’ third preseason game.
The Packers are now three-quarters of the way through the preseason. They lost to the Oakland Raiders 22-21 on Thursday night.
In a game in which most of the starters weren’t on the field, what did we learn from the game?
Here are the top three takeaways:
1. Trevor Davis, Darrius Shepherd make strong case for roster spot
A returning Trevor Davis made a strong case for why he should make the 53-man roster. He was possibly the standout performer for the Packers in this game. He led the team with five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, while also having an 18-yard rush. Davis also returned one punt for 17 yards.
Darrius Shepherd also built on a good start to preseason, catching three passes for 40 yards, second on the team in receiving. He also had one punt return for 15 yards.
With a potentially serious injury to Equanimeous St. Brown, it’s possible both Davis and Shepherd make the roster.
2. Starters are rested, but the game shouldn’t have been played
An hour or two before kickoff, there were concerns about the field. As a result, a decision was made the shorten the field to 80 yards. Not only that, but the Packers also decided to rest 33 players in this game, including just about every starter.
For a game in which the starters were expected to play — Aaron Rodgers was in full pads before the game — this says a lot. Head coach Matt LaFleur must have had concerns about injuries, and didn’t want to risk the starters just two weeks away from the regular-season opener.
LaFleur made the right call. But if he didn’t believe the field conditions were good enough to play the starters, how was the game allowed to go ahead in the first place?
Either the field is fine for everyone, or nobody. The Packers had no choice but to rest everyone they could. But this game shouldn’t have been played.
3. Packers hit with injuries
And the night got worse for the Packers when three key players went down with injury in the first half. First-round pick Rashan Gary was carted off. Wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown had to be helped off the field with what looked like a serious leg injury.
Curtis Bolton, who looked set to start at inside linebacker with Oren Burks out, also went to the locker room and didn’t return. WFRV Sports Anchor Lily Zhao reported that Bolton had a knee brace on and crutches following the game.
There are positives to take away from the game, but the injuries overshadow them.