Packers at Broncos: 5 things to watch

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers running back Devante Mays (32) runs after catching a short pass against the Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nate Gerry (47) Thursday, August 10, 2017 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Packers (2-0) at Broncos (2-0)

When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Broadcast: Radio - WTMJ AM 620. Television – Channel 4 in Milwaukee, NBC 26 in Green Bay and the Packers Television Network across the state.

Injury report: Packers – OT Bryan Bulaga (ankle), DE Dean Lowry (knee), DT Montravius Adams (foot), CB Davon House (hamstring), LB Jordan Tripp (concussion), OL Don Barclay (ankle) are not expected to play; S Jermaine Whitehead (ankle), RB William Stanback (hamstring), LB Derrick Mathews (unspecified) and OLB Jayrone Elliott (back) are questionable. Broncos – RB Devontae Booker (wrist), WR Carlos Henderson (wrist), safety T.J. Ward (hamstring), WR Cody Latimer (knee), OLB DeMarcus Walker (hip) and OLB Shaq Barrett (hip) may not play.

RELATED:Difficult decisions loom for roster cut to final 53

PODCAST:Who has the most to gain or lose against Denver?

Five things to watch

Proper tackling: With Bulaga out, Kyle Murphy and possibly Jason Spriggs are going to have to hold down the right tackle position and probably attempt to block all-world linebacker Von Miller. It’s a good sink-or-swim test, but not the kind you want with Aaron Rodgers’ health at stake. Coach Mike McCarthy has to give them help, doesn’t he?

What’s next: In the exhibition opener against Philadelphia, Dom Capers blitzed like crazy. In the second game against Washington, he loaded up to stop the run. In this game, it’s a good bet he goes with a lot of his “nitro” defense, the one that features safety Morgan Burnett as a linebacker. This is the last chance for the starters to work on it in live action.

Mile High hang time: In two games, rookie punter Justin Vogel has punted 13 times and averaged 45.6 yards gross and 44.0 net. He has landed seven punts inside the 20. The Packers would kill for those numbers during the season, but the fact is Vogel has gotten some good bounces, benefited from excellent coverage and not been consistent. He needs to destroy the ball in the high altitude to show he’s capable of being the starter.

Back to back to back: Running backs coach Ben Sirmans said he really wanted to see seventh-round pick Devante Mays get a shot at running against the opposition’s No. 1s, but to do that Mays will have to play with the Packers’ No. 1s. Ty Montgomery is first up and then Sirmans will have to decide whether to go straight to Mays or follow his camp-long progression of using Jamaal Williams second.

Middle men: So far, the coaches have favored Blake Martinez and Joe Thomas as their inside linebackers in most nickel and some base situations. Martinez looks far more fluid than a year ago and not as out of control when he plays the run. The big question is where does Jake Ryan fit in? He and Martinez fit best on early downs, but with the amount of “nitro” being played, it remains to be seen where Ryan stands.



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