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Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts: 5 things to watch

Aug. 25, 2011
 

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1. Five tight ends are fighting for three or four roster spots behind Jermichael Finley, the starter. Andrew Quarless, D.J. Williams, Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor and Spencer Havner will be evaluated on their pass catching, blocking and special teams ability, with their employment status hanging in the balance.

2. Thereís a logjam of receivers hoping the Packers keep an extra wideout on their final roster. Brett Swain, Chastin West and Tori Gurley are battling for the No. 6 receiver position -- a job that might or might not exist -- and special teams prowess will be the deciding factor.

3. Thereís a wild scramble in the secondary for jobs. Pat Lee is fighting for his football life and is competing against Josh Gordy for the sixth and final cornerback spot. Safety Brandon Underwood, meanwhile, is on the bubble and likely needs to make a big statement.

4. Coach Mike McCarthy will play his starters for at least a quarter and a half. With the exception of perhaps one series in the preseason finale, this will be the last significant game-time experience they will receive until the regular-season opener, which is 13 days away. Now is the time to scrape off any lingering rust.

5. Curtis Painter will start in the absence of ailing quarterback Peyton Manning. In two preseason starts Painter completed 8 of 16 passes for 95 yards. In a 16-3 loss to Washington last Friday, Painter managed only one first down and couldnít get the offense past its 29 despite playing the entire first half. Maybe thatís why the Colts coaxed veteran Kerry Collins out of retirement this week. Collins, who has passed for more than 40,000 career yards, isnít expected to play against the Packers. Other Colts quarterbacks include Dan Orlovsky and undrafted rookie Mike Hartline.

ó Mike Vandermause, mvandermause@greenbaypressgazette.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeVandermause.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports