On Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers released their first “unofficial” depth chart of the regular season. No one expected anything shocking upon release; How could they? Still, a few minor bits of information stood out.
At wide receiver, Marquez Valdes-Scantling was listed as a starter over Allen Lazard. Randall Cobb was tabbed as the fourth wide receiver. Much was made of Cobb returning to the team, for good reason as it may have been what led to Aaron Rodgers returning for another season. Off of Cobb’s depth chart position alone, though, he very well could fall short of the expectations that some have for him. Third-round rookie Amari Rodgers was placed in the sixth slot at the position, potentially a sign that he will not be used actively on offense this season.
With the starting offensive line solidified, for now, Jon Runyan is listed as the team’s backup guard on both sides, meaning he’s the most likely backup offensive lineman to be active on game day. The other three positions feature just one sub, though four of the Packers’ starting offensive linemen could play other positions in a pinch. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Jonathan Garvin got the nod over Chauncey Rivers as a second-team outside linebacker. This could be important in Week 1, with Pro Bowler Za’Darius Smith recently returning to practice after battling a back injury.
The rest is mostly chalk, but the specialist section of the depth chart gives some hints as to who will be active on Sunday. Amari Rodgers, despite being listed as the team’s sixth receiver, is listed as the team’s starting punt returner (Cobb as the sole backup) and the team’s second kick returner. Rookie running back Kylin Hill, a preseason standout, is listed as the starting kick returner with nickelback Chandon Sullivan also making an appearance. So, even if Rodgers doesn’t see much time on offense, expect him to see the field as a contributing return man.