Packers: Top five performers in preseason vs. Raiders

Green Bay Packers, Tim Boyle (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Tim Boyle (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 15: Darrius Shepherd #10 of the Green Bay Packers makes a touchdown catch during the second half of a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

A field snafu, injuries and a loss, who stood out in the game vs. the Oakland Raiders?

Before getting into the top performers of the game, I have to say the NFL has to do better.

If they are saying they are 100 percent behind player safety, they did not show it Thursday night. The game has been scheduled to play in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada since April, and yet it still wasn’t up to par.

The NFL released a statement, via, saying:

“The field met the mandatory practices for the maintenance of surfaces for NFL games based on an inspection yesterday.”

Who did they send out there, Carl Spackler? (For those who miss the reference, think Caddyshack)

It was very easy to see based on watching on television there was something wrong in the end zones. I understand the NFL wants to broaden their fan base in other countries, but based on what we’ve seen so far they have to reconsider.

The play in London suffers due to jet lag, the field in Mexico was not up to par this past season, and now this mess. The best thing we can say about it is at least it was a preseason game and not in the regular season.

For the game, the team played better than last week, but what will probably overshadow the play is the injuries to Equanimous St. Brown, Rashan Gary and Curtis Bolton.

Bolton was seen on the sideline during the game with a knee brace on. He was working his way into a starting position before the injury. While there has not been any official news on his injury, seeing him in a brace has to, at the very least, put his Week 1 status in doubt.

Gary’s injury is one that should have easily been avoided. Gary went down with a lower leg injury early in the first quarter but returned to the game. One has to question why he was even in the game to go down the second time.

After going through the first scare, why didn’t the coaches call it a night for their highest draft pick? It appears Gary injured his neck while making a tackle. Neck injuries can be very scary and tricky to recover from.

The good news was he left the field under his own power and walked down the tunnel to the locker room. I hope it’s nothing more than whiplash or a stinger, but we won’t know for sure until we hear from the team.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, St. Brown suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out four to six weeks.

I’ve only focused on the negative so far. It wasn’t all doom and gloom in Winnipeg. Here are five players who improved their case for a job.

Darrius Shepherd

Darrius Shepherd, an undrafted receiver out of North Dakota State, had another solid game. Shepherd was the chain mover for the Packers on Thursday night. Shepherd’s night was highlighted by tough sideline grab on third down on a pass by Tim Boyle.

Shepherd laid out for the catch on third-and-11, earning a first down on a drive that ended in a Tra Carson touchdown just before the half. Shepherd finished with three catches for 40 yards.

Shepherd’s testing numbers aren’t as impressive as those around him (5-foot-10, 4.6-second 40-yard dash) but he knows how to get open, offers return capabilities and is a different body type from the other Packers receivers.

The decisions at receiver will be tough to make. Who gets cut between the three bubble players (Allen Lazard, Shepherd and Trevor Davis) are not likely to make it to the practice squad.

Equanimeous St. Brown‘s injury may have opened the door for all three to make it. It’s unfortunate it had to happen that way, but all three have played well enough to deserve it outside of the injury.