Packers vs. Rams: 5 things to watch

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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PACKERS (2-1) vs. RAMS (2-1)

When: 6 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Lambeau Field.

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), LB Nick Perry (ankle) LB Clay Matthews (groin tightness), OLB Jayrone Elliott (back), DT Montravius Adams (foot), LB Jordan Tripp (concussion) and OL Don Barclay (ankle) are not expected to play; S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (knee), S Jermaine Whitehead (ankle), C/G Lucas Patrick (concussion) are questionable. Rams – Rams TE Temarrick Hemingway (broken leg), WR Tavon Austin (hamstring) and DL Dominique Easley (knee) won’t play.

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5 things to watch

1. Get your program: The Rams are expected to hold out most, if not all, of their starters for a second straight game. The Packers are expected to sit a large portion of their starters. So, make sure you have a roster or program nearby because there will be a lot of players you won’t be able to identify.

2. Edgar’s influence: Coach Mike McCarthy is turning over the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett for this game. McCarthy typically does that in the fourth game for two reasons: It gives his coordinator experience at calling a game and it allows him to focus on evaluating personnel during the game.

3. Turnover time: The defense has caused six turnovers in three games, which isn’t bad, but as defensive coordinator Dom Capers pointed out, there could have been many more. Opponents have fumbled nine times yet the defense has recovered only three. There have been two or three opportunities for interceptions that were dropped. This should be a game where turnover opportunities will be abundant.

4. Crosby, Vogel and Goode: They’re not a classic rock group, but they need to be heard from this season if the Packers are going to go anywhere. Assuming Vogel makes the team as the punter, they will be the three legs of the kick-scoring team. Goode won the long-snapping job from Derek Hart and so there’s stability in the operation. McCarthy may want to test them from long distances.

5. Many happy returns: Special teams coach Ron Zook has his punt returner in Trevor Davis and likely his kickoff returner in Jeff Janis. But he probably would like to see more production with Janis and some return potential from Aaron Jones or Devante Mays so he has backup options. Randall Cobb is likely to be the backup to Davis on punts.


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