The Green Bay Packers are set to go into their third preseason matchup, this time taking on the Oakland Raiders north of the border in Canada. Through the first two games, the Packers are 1-1 with a win over the Houston Texans and a loss against the Baltimore Ravens. Both games were full of positives and negatives, but the third week of preseason action is a key moment.
Matt LaFleur and company are hoping to get their starting lineup on the field for some time together this week. Most teams use Week 3 preseason and play them like dress rehearsals for the regular season. That may or may not be the case for the Packers, as Aaron Rodgers is not a sure bet to play.
Rodgers was scratched just ahead of the game against the Ravens. Green Bay has already ruled him a game-time decision for this week against the Raiders.
No matter what happens with Rodgers, this will be a big game for the Packers. Nothing in preseason actually counts, but they have a tough Week 1 matchup ahead of them with the Chicago Bears. At this point in time, the Packers are nowhere near ready to take on that good of a football team.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at the three main players Green Bay fans should be watching this week against the Raiders.
3. Allen Lazard, Wide Receiver
One of the most intriguing players on the entire roster is former Iowa State star and current Packers’ wide receiver Allen Lazard. He is battling for a roster spot, but offers the team a lot of intriguing with a 6-foot-5 frame and great athleticism. Lazard has stiff competition from names like Darrius Shepherd, Trevor Davis, and J’Mon Moore to make the roster.
Green Bay lost Randall Cobb this offseason, but they seem to be deeper at wide receiver than they were before. Lazard needs to have a big game against the Raiders to stay in the hunt to make the final roster entering the last week before major cuts.
2. Darrius Shepherd, Wide Receiver
Let’s keep it with the wide receiver position and talk about another young player working hard to make the roster. After being signed as an undrafted free agency, Darrius Shepherd was not given much of a chance to make the team. He took that as a challenge and has been playing great football.
Shepherd seems to be favored by most to end up making the roster. He isn’t a lock yet, but a big game this week could get the job done. Rodgers and company need talented players on the depth chart and Shepherd has been making a strong case to prove that they should keep him around.
1. Aaron Rodgers/DeShone Kizer
Finally, the Packers are going to need to see solid performances from both of their quarterbacks. As previously mentioned, Rodgers may end up playing, but the Packers may end up sitting him again. If he plays, fans are going to get their first look at the new offense with Rodgers running it.
On the other hand, if Rodgers is unable to play, the Packers need to see a good performance from DeShone Kizer. He struggled last season in limited playing time, but the team needs to know they have a backup they can count on. A big performance this week could seal the deal on him being Rodgers’ primary backup.