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Cheese Curds, 8/9: Packers conserve starters’ snaps; ILB group to get first big test

Look for the young players to get most — if not all — of the playing time in tomorrow’s preseason opener.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Training Camp Jim Matthews-USA TODAY NETWORK

Over the past few seasons, the Green Bay Packers have gradually reduced the playing time of several key veteran starters during the preseason. This was likely in part a reaction to Jordy Nelson’s torn ACL in 2015, which he suffered on the turf at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Nelson is one player who is likely to sit out the entire game on Thursday when the Packers open up the preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles, but he will hardly be the only one. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a handful of other veterans are likely to take a seat throughout the game, as has been made clear by the division of snaps in practice.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s game provides fans with the first chance to see the Packers’ newly-redesigned inside linebacker group in action. A pair of safeties will be contributing in the Nitro and Sooner packages, and it will be interesting to see just how much those packages are put into action tomorrow evening.

Check out these items and much more in today’s curds!

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers won't see much preseason action again - ESPN
Rodgers has seen his playing time in the preseason dwindle each of the past three years, bottoming out last season with just two series and 26 snaps. Is that a reason for his slow start last season? He sure doesn't think so.

Packers’ offense prefers practice reps over preseason snaps |
Echoing Rodgers’ comments, Mike McCarthy has made his plans clear for the starters on offense by putting his QB1 on the scout team this week. Click for the discussion of playing time, but stay for a fun story about Rodgers pulling out a four-year-old audible signal in practice.

Preseason will be proving ground for Price |
Brian Price's odds of making the Packers' roster long-term increased a bit yesterday with Letroy Guion's release, but he has taken lessons from both passionate Mike Daniels and the thinker, Ricky Jean Francois about how to approach the preseason.

Best players, quotes, video from Tuesday at NFL training camps 2017 - ESPN
Remember when a large group of Packers fans wanted the team to draft Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland in 2016? Ragland has been banished to the third-string defense in Buffalo, and one reporter suspects he will be available via trade soon.

Packers like their depth and flexibility at inside linebacker | Packers Wire
Don't expect the Packers to be interested in Ragland now, however; they have devoted significant resources to training Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones at inside linebacker to complement Jake Ryan, Joe Thomas, and Blake Martinez. Furthermore, Dom Capers sounds very excited about the group as a whole, suggesting that it can be more than just the sum of its parts.

In honor of #InternationalCatDay, here are the 10 best cat mascots in sports -
The NFC North is represented on this list by Roary, the Detroit Lions' mascot. The list omits the cat mascot with arguably the best personality, however - Gnash, the sabretooth cat who represents the Nashville Predators.