Never tell them the odds.
Every year during training camp and the preseason, there is usually a great underdog story or two. Somebody, buried deep in the initial depth chart, comes out of nowhere and turns heads in practice and especially during preseason games.
This year, thanks to there being no preseason thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, those stories are likely to be in short supply. That’s not to say teams aren’t finding a way to give younger and unknown players a shot, however.
In the case of the Green Bay Packers, this means live scrimmages at Lambeau Field and more meetings. With a greatly reduced training camp and no game tape to go off of, the coaching staff will have very little to lean on in evaluating players on the roster bubble.
As for the players, they need every bit of help to have a fighting chance of making the roster and with the Packers coming off a 13-3 season, turnover on the roster could be minimal.
When Green Bay starts live practices on Saturday, it leaves about three weeks for meaningful snaps for a bevy of players fighting to earn a spot on the team. With expanded practice squads this year (16 players, up from the normal 10), it leaves a little margin of error but the players on the roster bubble will need to take advantage of every opportunity in camp.
It may be a different path than others before they have traveled, but those on the brink still control their own destiny.
Now on to today’s curds.
While clearly happy with their roster, the Packers are trying to give the youngsters on their team every chance to make an impression especially in a challenging and frequently changing environment.
Malik Turner was present at a Packers minicamp tryout in 2018 but was not signed by the team. Two years later he made it back to Titletown hoping to be a contributor to Green Bay’s highly debated receiver group.
The Packers overachieved in 2019 by finishing 13-3 with a 6-1 record in games decided by seven points or fewer. The law of averages says they won’t likely benefit as much, which means a regression as far as record is concerned seems likely.
Dexter Williams was frequently on game day inactive lists last year to the point where people openly wondered why Green Bay even bothered drafting him in the fourth round last year. Regardless of whatever reason Williams saw little of the field last year, coach Matt LaFleur is excited to see what the former Notre Dame star can do.
Barney Gumble is likely sad at this news, but Wade Boggs is provably hoping the next cat is named after Pitt the Elder (bonus points if you get this reference).