With the Green Bay Packers hosting the Oakland Raiders in both teams’ second preseason games on Thursday evening, we look across the roster once again to identify five players who will be worth watching for a variety of reasons.
This week, we are looking for a few players to repeat impressive performances from their preseason debuts as well as one in particular who needs to bounce back from a rough overall game. However, the biggest name on our list is one who has a golden opportunity to show why he belongs in the discussion at his position due to an injury to a teammate.
WR Jared Abbrederis
After impressing everyone over the first few weeks of training camp with his ability to separate from defenders - an Achilles heel of the receiving corps a year ago - Abbrederis now has a great chance to do so with a bigger role. Namely, he should get a good portion of the snaps that Jeff Janis had been taking on the outside (opposite Davante Adams) with the first-team and second-team units. Trevor Davis and Ty Montgomery will probably take some reps there as well, but this will be a great opportunity for Abbrederis to show that he’s more than just a slot receiver.
RB Brandon Burks
On a handful of runs in the second half last week against the Browns, Burks showed some nice speed to the edge and change-of-direction ability. For now he remains behind John Crockett in the race for the #3 job, but he certainly appears to be the next option. A good performance against Oakland - especially in the passing game - would help close that gap even more.
DL Christian Ringo
While Ringo made our “stock down” group last week, he did have a late sack that resulted in a safety so it wasn’t all bad for the second-year pro. However, his most memorable play before that was a hands-to-the-face penalty. The coaches have been talking Ringo up so far in camp, suggesting that he has made a big second-year jump, but that needs to translate to the field during game action.
CB Makinton Dorleant
This undrafted free agent has speed to burn, but sat out a few days of practice as well as last week’s game. Now that he has returned to the field, he appears to be behind Josh Hawkins in a battle for a possible roster spot. A good showing from the slightly built corner would get him back in the conversation; but if he fails to make any impact soon you can pretty much write him off for the 53.
P Peter Mortell
Mortell followed up a very nice debut last Friday night with a rough week of practice in which he hit some ugly punts with poor hang-time. Still, his picture-perfect placement of a coffin corner punt against the Browns stands out, and his booming 62-yarder will also be tough to ignore. The competition with Tim Masthay is in full effect.