Packers at Chiefs: 5 things to watch

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Joe Callahan struggles to get a pass off while being pursued by Oakland Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin.

Green Bay Packers (3-0) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)

When: 7 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Arrowhead Stadium.

Broadcast:  TV – Channel 4 in Milwaukee, Channel 26 in Green Bay. Radio - 620-AM.

Injury report: Packers - WR Jordy Nelson (knee), QB Brett Hundley (ankle), NT Kenny Clark (back), CB Makinton Dorleant (hamstring), OLB Jayrone Elliott (hamstring), S Chris Banjo (hamstring) and WR Jeff Janis (hand) aren’t expected to play. ILB Joe Thomas (calf), ILB Jake Ryan (hamstring) and S Morgan Burnett are questionable. Chiefs -- LB Tamba Hali (knee), RB Jamaal Charles (knee), RB Charcandrick West (elbow) and CB Phillip Gaines (knee) aren’t expected to play.


1. Final audition: Along with a bunch of other roster hopefuls, QB Joe Callahan will be looking to not only impress the Packers but 31 other teams. Callahan will make his third start of the exhibition season, and if he can follow up the performance he had in San Francisco with a similar one against the Chiefs, he’s going to be on someone’s 53-man roster. If the Packers cut him, don’t be surprised if he’s in Minnesota.

2. Pressure’s on: Talk about some weight to carry. Jake Schum, claimed off waivers Tuesday from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is the lone punter on the roster after the Packers made a surprise move and cut Tim Masthay. Schum, whom one scout whose former team had him in camp said had a strong leg but was inconsistent, wouldn’t seem to have anything locked up. If he doesn’t punt well, the Packers may look for someone else after final cuts.

3. Secondary matters: GM Ted Thompson is going to be watching closely as DBs LaDarius Gunter, Robertson Daniel, Kentrell Brice, Josh Hawkins, Marwin Evans and Warren Gatewood compete for backup spots in the secondary. This is the most athletic group of defensive backs the team has had in a long time and choosing which ones have the biggest upside will be a challenge. The prospects can do themselves a lot of favors Thursday night.

4. Soft landing: After the field debacle in Canton, the Packers have been lucky to play all four of the exhibition games on grass, which might explain why they’ve been able to avoid a lot of injuries this exhibition season. The grass in San Francisco last week wasn’t very friendly – it kept coming up in clumps – and there were some muscle pulls, but Kansas City’s Bermuda grass is considered one of the better surfaces in the NFL.

5. Friendly faces: Callahan and Marquise Williams don’t know it, but they may feeling some hurt from a trio of former Packers pass rushers who will be getting after them. Outside linebackers Frank Zombo, Dezman Moses and Andy Mulumba are all players who have gotten a second chance under GM John Dorsey, the former Packers executive. Mulumba is the most recent addition and may have the most incentive to show Thompson he made a mistake.

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