clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Packers’ 1st-team snap counts: Preseason Week 2

Luke Musgrave continues to receive every snap at tight end.

NFL: Preseason-New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

One of the best ways to predict who is going to make the Green Bay Packers’ final roster is by tracking who is getting in the mix with the first-team units during the preseason. This held true last season, so we’ve been tracking their preseason snaps (including Family Night) this summer.

Follow along as we go position-by-position, breaking down who was able to get on the field for the Packers in the first quarter against the New England Patriots in Week 2 of the preseason. That seems to be when the true defensive starters were fully taken off the field. It was also when quarterback Jordan Love turned over the keys to backup quarterback Sean Clifford.

The only positions we won’t touch on are quarterback and the offensive line, as they were the same on every snap. Left to right, the line was comprised of Rasheed Walker, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan Jr. and Zach Tom, as David Bakhtiari didn’t suit up for the game. It was slightly surprising that Walker got the start over Yosh Nijman, but Walker did get some first-team snaps with the offense this week in practice.

As always, starters will be bolded and we’re considering both base and subpackage “starters” as starters.

Running Back

  • 16 snaps: AJ Dillon
  • 1: Aaron Jones

Starting running back Aaron Jones took all of one snap with the starting offense for the second game in a row. I’m not sure I understand the value of giving Jones just one look before sending him to the bench, but that’s what’s been happening this preseason.

Just like last week, AJ Dillon took the rest of the snaps out of the backfield when Love was on the field. With Tyler Goodson and Lew Nichols out with injuries, Emanuel Wilson (15 carries for 63 yards) and Patrick Taylor (four carries for 12 yards and a score) were the other backs to get worked in on Saturday. In back-to-back games, Wilson has been the Packers’ leading rusher. The question now is if Wilson’s offensive value will outweigh Taylor’s special teams value, when it comes down to deciding on who the third running back on the team is going to be.


  • 17: Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs
  • 10: Jayden Reed

Interestingly, few receivers are getting looks with Love’s offense. During preseason games this summer, Romeo Doubs has played 29 reps with Love, Christian Watson has played 28, Jayden Reed has played 18 and Samori Toure has played just one. None of Dontayvion Wicks, Malik Heath, Grant DuBose or Bo Melton have been on the field for even a single snap with Love.

For the most part, the Packers seem committed to giving their top skill guys every opportunity to grow with Love.

Tight End/Fullback

  • 17: Luke Musgrave
  • 5: Josiah Deguara
  • 3: Tucker Kraft

Just like last week, Luke Musgrave played every single snap with Love on Saturday. Nothing is in stone yet, but Musgrave is the heavy, heavy favorite to be the number one tight end on the team come the regular season.

Josiah Deguara, who missed last week’s action due to an injury, was the first tight end/fullback to come off the bench when the Packers were in two-receiver looks. Deguara played more of a hybrid fullback role (shocking, I know) while the Tucker Kraft packages tended to feature more true two-tight end looks. With Tyler Davis likely gone for the year with an ACL injury, Kraft seems to be headed for an uptick in playing time.

Defensive Line

  • 15: Devonte Wyatt
  • 12: TJ Slaton
  • 10: Colby Wooden

Five defensive linemen played with the first-team defense in the preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals last week, but Jonathan Ford and Karl Brooks were cut out of the rotation against the Patriots. Wyatt played every single snap for the defense, with TJ Slaton and Colby Wooden taking a few breathers, individually, on nickel downs.

The Packers played a lot of “penny” looks — with a 3-4 presentation on the line of scrimmage and just one inside linebacker — against New England. That was a big difference from the base and true nickel looks that were seen versus Cincinnati.

As a reminder, nose tackle-turned-defensive end Kenny Clark was kept out of the game.

Outside Linebacker

  • 14: Kingsley Enagbare
  • 7: Justin Hollins
  • 5: Lukas Van Ness
  • 4: Preston Smith

In preseason Week 1, Justin Hollins earned the start opposite of Preston Smith — who was quickly pulled from the game after one drive. Smith left the game early again on Saturday, but Kingsley Enagbare, instead, was the “starter.” Enagbare, who had two sacks on the night, played twice as many first-team snaps as any other edge rusher for the Packers versus the Patriots.

If you thought that Lukas Van Ness was going to get a shot at early playing time on the 2023 team, now is about the time to start reevaluating that prediction. Van Ness was the fourth pass-rusher off of the bench on Saturday, and that’s without Rashan Gary — who has been activated off of the PUP list — in the lineup. Chances are, we’re going to be seeing more from Van Ness on special teams than on defense this year.

Inside Linebacker

  • 15: Quay Walker
  • 10: Isaiah McDuffie

With De’Vondre Campbell dealing with an ankle injury, Isaiah McDuffie got his first preseason start of the season today. Unsurprisingly, the Packers played a lot of one-linebacker “penny” looks without Campbell, which might be the team’s nickel preference if Campbell ever misses time during the regular season.

McDuffie was the third linebacker for the team last week, but Eric Wilson filled that role on Family Night. Currently, I’d say that McDuffie has the inside lane at being the injury-replacement linebacker, but Wilson is still alive in the race.


  • 15: Carrington Valentine
  • 10: Shemar Jean-Charles
  • 9: Keisean Nixon
  • 6: Rasul Douglas
  • 4: Kiondre Thomas

Along with inside linebacker Quay Walker and defensive end Devonte Wyatt, cornerback Carrington Valentine was one of three defenders who played every snap with the first-team defense tonight. He got the start opposite of Rasul Douglas, who was the team’s other outside corner. Keisean Nixon, once again, got the start in the slot. It’s worth noting here that Jaire Alexander (groin) and Eric Stokes (ankle) were both held out of action tonight.

Shemar Jean-Charles, who I thought had a solid performance in Cincinnati last week, had a rough go of it on Saturday, playing both outside cornerback (for Douglas) and slot corner (for Nixon when Kiondre Thomas came off the bench to play outside.) At this point, I’m uncertain if the team will end up keeping Jean-Charles and Thomas, despite their burn with the first-team defense, depending on whether or not Stokes will be healthy enough to start the regular season on the 53-man roster.


  • 11: Rudy Ford
  • 9: Jonathan Owens
  • 6: Darnell Savage
  • 4: Anthony Johnson Jr.

I sincerely have no gauge of who the favorite is at the safety position. Last week, Jonathan Owens was the starter opposite of Darnell Savage, who seems to have one of the two jobs locked up. This week, it was Rudy Ford, who wasn’t one of the three safeties to work with the first-team defense against the Bengals.

Tarvarius Moore, who was the team’s third safety versus Cincinnati, was fifth in the pecking order this week behind Savage, Ford, Owens and seventh-round rookie Anthony Johnson Jr. When we asked Packers fans earlier this week who they thought had the best safety performance in preseason Week 1, the favorite was Moore...who now seems to be slipping down the depth chart.

Special Teams

Below are the number of units that Packers players started on Saturday at the four core special teams units (kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return):

  • 4: RB Patrick Taylor and FB Henry Pearson
  • 3: TE Austin Allen, OLB Justin Hollins, OLB Arron Mosby, CB Carrington Valentine and CB Kiondre Thomas
  • 2: WR Samori Toure (PRET/KRET), WR Dontayvion Wicks, WR/TE Dre Miller, TE Tucker Kraft, CB Shemar Jean-Charles and SAF Anthony Johnson Jr.
  • 1: WR Malik Heath, OLB Kingsley Enagbare, OLB Keshawn Banks, SAF Dallin Leavitt and SAF Benny Sapp III

It’s worth mentioning here that many of the presumed starters on special teams seemed to get some rest here, which isn’t surprising considering the fact that the team had two days of joint practices with the Patriots this week. Notably, the following players — who all started at least two units on special teams last week — were not “starting” in the kicking game on Saturday: CB Corey Ballentine (started on four units vs Cincinnati), ILB Eric Wilson (three), ILB Isaiah McDuffie (three, got the start at inside linebacker), SAF Tarvarius Moore (three), ILB Tariq Carpenter (two) and SAF Jonathan Owens (two).

If you combine preseason Week 1 and Week 2 starts, this is what the special teams breakdown looks like right now — with the injured tight end Tyler Davis excluded:

  • 6: RB Patrick Taylor
  • 5: FB Henry Pearson
  • 4: TE Tucker Kraft, CB Carrington Valentine, CB Corey Ballentine and SAF Dallin Leavitt
  • 3: TE Austin Allen, OLB Justin Hollins, OLB Kingsley Enagbare, OLB Arron Mosby, ILB Eric Wilson, ILB Isaiah McDuffie, CB Shemar-Jean Charles, CB Kiondre Thomas and SAF Tarvarius Moore
  • 2: WR Samori Toure (PRET/KRET), WR Dontayvion Wicks, WR/TE Dre Miller, OLB Keshawn Banks, ILB Tariq Carpenter, SAF Jonathan Owens and SAF Anthony Johnson Jr.
  • 1: RB Tyler Goodson (KRET), WR Jayden Reed (PRET), WR Malik Heath, WR Bo Melton, OLB Lukas Van Ness, ILB Jimmy Phillips III and SAF Benny Sapp III