Packers vs. Colts: 5 things to watch

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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PREVIEW: Green Bay Packers (0-0) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-0)

When: Sunday, 7 p.m.

Where: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

Broadcast: Television — ESPN and Channel 11 in Green Bay and Channel 12 in Milwaukee. Radio AM-620.

Injury report: QB Brett Hundley (ankle) isn’t expected to play; CB Makinton Dorleant (hamstring), RB Eddie Lacy (ankle), ILB Manoa Pikula (hamstring), ILB Jake Ryan (hamstring), DT Demetrius Anderson (ankle), OT Kyle Murphy (concussion), OT Josh James (hamstring) and TE Mitchell Henry (groin) are questionable. Colts –  C Ryan Kelly (shoulder) is out; DE Kendall Langford (undisclosed), RT Joe Reitz (thigh), G Hugh Thornton (foot/ankle), CB Tevin Mitchel (undisclosed), WR Marcus Leak (undisclosed), CB D'Joun Smith (undisclosed), DT Arthur Jones (undisclosed) and WR Josh Boyce (undisclosed) are questionable.


1. Back to the basics: The Packers are not going to be very sophisticated on offense, not with a pair of rookie free-agent quarterbacks under center. With Joe Callahan and Marquise Williams the only quarterbacks expected to play, this will be more like a practice than a game for the Packers. Expect a lot of scrambling and some less-than-polished play.

2. Local attraction: Fans will recognize the guy taking most of the snaps for the Colts. It’s Scott Tolzien, the former Packer and Wisconsin Badger. Coach Chuck Pagano said he’s unsure if starter Andrew Luck will play, so Tolzien could be the starter. Rodgers’ former backup knows the Packers' defense inside and out, so he should be poised for a big night.

3. Crockett time: With Lacy unlikely to play and backup James Starks probably limited to spot play, John Crockett is going to be the team’s primary ball carrier. This will be a huge opportunity for Crockett to show he’s deserving of playing time this year after flashing some ability last year. Crockett has to be reliable in pass protection in order to be trusted.

4. Game time: Wide receiver Jeff Janis has been a better game player than practice player. He'd better show the game part starting Sunday night because the practice part hasn’t been there. Janis has put himself in a deep hole with his lack of production. He’ll be getting some matchups against inexperienced players, so he needs to dominate. His confidence could use a boost with a big performance and he’s got to make a statement to his coaches.

5. Lightning strikes: The Packers have played in the Hall of Fame game five times and two of those times the game was called due to lightning. The last time the Packers played in Canton, in 2003, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue called the game after a 30-minute delay with Kansas City ahead, 9-0, with 5:49 left in the third. Lightning and thunder shook the press box, causing officials to clear the stadium. It rained so hard there were pools of water on the field and resuming play would have been next to impossible. The other game called because of lightning occurred in 1980 when the Packers played San Diego. It ended in a 0-0 tie.

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