The Green Bay Packers kick off their 2012 preseason schedule on Thursday, and lucky for us out-of-state folks, they're on national television. Bright and early in California, the Packers face the San Diego Chargers at 8 p.m. ET from Qualcomm Stadium.
Greg Jennings is the biggest injury concern and he will not play. Charles Woodson is also expected to sit out the first preseason game. The other missing players are Duane Bennett (knee), Ray Dominguez (ankle), Tori Gurley (groin), Jon Hoese (hamstring), Eric Lair (knee), Mike McCabe (hip), Ryan Taylor (concussion). Some other recently injured players like John Kuhn and Jermichael Finley may sit out or have their time very limited. Marshall Newhouse recently missed time with a concussion and could potentially sit out as well. Also missing are PUP players Johnny Jones, Mike McCabe, Andrew Quarless, Derek Sherrod and Frank Zombo.
Injuries are going to lead us to see a disproportionate amount of snaps for Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams, Andrew Datko and Herb Taylor. Bennett's injury, Brandon Saine's questionable status and John Kuhn's likely limited status should mean plenty of snaps for running backs Marc Tyler and Alex Green as well.
Expect Aaron Rodgers to see very limited snaps, especially with the injuries at left tackle. There's no sense in letting your star quarterback take a beating in the first game of preseason. I expect him to get one series, maybe two if that first series is a three-and-out. Graham Harrell should get two full quarters of work, and he needs it.
The top position to watch will certainly be the cornerback spot, where Davon House is expected to start opposite Tramon Williams on the outside. With Woodson likely sitting out, M.D. Jennings should start at safety while Jarrett Bush starts in nickel packages and Sam Shields starts in the dime. Because it's preseason, both Shields and Bush should get plenty of reps on the outside as well.
You can catch the game on ESPN nationally. If you don't have cable -- which, if you're a football fan in 2012, should honestly only be the case if you are unemployed -- local ABC affiliates are carrying the game. If you're out of state and you don't have cable, you're SOL for watching the game. You listen on Sirius Radio 138 nationally, AM 620 WTMJ in most of Wisconsin or FM 101.1 WIXX in the Green Bay area.
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