♦ 1. The Packers still are considering Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee for the No. 3 cornerback job while Al Harris is out, and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will provide the ultimate test to help defensive coordinator Dom Capers distinguish between them. Manning won’t have tight end Dallas Clark (leg injury), but receivers Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez are expected to play with the rest of the No. 1 offense into the third quarter. Underwood has worked ahead of Lee since the start of training camp but has been beaten enough in the first two preseason games to leave the door open for Lee.
♦ 2. The Packers’ two venerable tackles, Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, have looked fine in training camp at ages 33 and 32, respectively. But this matchup will give the best indication yet of how their physical talents are in their 11th NFL season because the Colts’ defensive end duo of Dwight Freeney on the right side and Robert Mathis on the left is as good as any in the league at rushing the passer. Watch to see if the Packers give Clifton and Tauscher much help with chip blocks or double teams. If they can hold up well one-on-one tonight, they’re good to go for the regular season.
♦ 3. The Packers will get a long look tonight at an outside linebacker who has shown glimpses of some rushing ability, undrafted rookie Frank Zombo. If Brad Jones (shoulder) is held out, Zombo probably will start at right outside linebacker, and even if Jones plays the Packers plan to play Zombo extensively to see if he can augment a pass rush that needs help. Zombo has a good shot at making the roster as the No. 5 outside linebacker, but he could move up the depth charts if he can get some pressure tonight when Manning is on the field.
♦ 4. Undrafted rookie Sam Shields has bombed as a return man because he’s been undependable catching the ball, but the Packers think he could be a difference maker on special teams as a cover man. Last week, he made a quick tackle after the catch on one of the two punts he covered as a gunner, and this week he’s also on the No. 1 kickoff-cover team in place of Jarrett Bush.
♦ 5. Daryn Colledge and Bryan Bulaga are competing for the starting job at left guard, and there’s a decent chance coach Mike McCarthy will determine the starter after this game so the No. 1 line can work together full time in practice beginning next week. Colledge has responded well to the challenge, but Bulaga, the Packers’ first-round draft pick, also has shown he’s strong and stout on the inside after opening camp strictly as the backup to Clifton at left tackle.