Football finally returns for the Green Bay Packers this week. Well, sort of.
On Monday, the Packers begin their organized team activities, a significant step toward the start of the new season. While these practices are voluntary, the Packers need as many players there as possible, considering how many changes have been made across the roster.
There will be several must-see positional battles for the Packers throughout the summer. Some players hope to secure starting jobs this season, while others will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. The process begins at OTAs.
With the Packers set to return to the practice field, what are the top five things to keep an eye on?
5. Is Anders Carlson ready to replace Mason Crosby as Packers kicker?
Green Bay begins OTAs without longtime kicker Mason Crosby. That's significant. Rookie Anders Carlson will get the opportunity to prove himself over the summer, starting this week.
It's impossible to replicate the pressure of kicking in the NFL during OTAs, but it's a start. It's the first of many tests for Carlson in the coming months. If he makes all the kicks and shows consistency, it could go a long way.
If Carlson is the Packers' kicker this season, getting valuable reps now will help. It's not just the kicking he needs to get right, but also the timing with the holder and long snapper.
With Crosby gone, there is an opening. The Packers drafted Carlson for a reason, but he must now prove himself.