Packers go into Bears game without a backup tackle
CHICAGO - Ninety minutes before opening the season, the Green Bay Packers released their seven inactive players for the game against the Chicago Bears. In and of itself, a routine procedure — but the decision to put tackle Alex Light on it was interesting.
Light, a second-year player out of Richmond, has impressed the Packers with his potential at the tackle position, and he won a roster battle for that backup position in training camp. He was on the injury report to start the week with a wrist issue, but he was a full participant all week and did not have a status heading into the game.
With Light being down, the Packers went into the game with just seven active offensive linemen — meaning that starting right guard Billy Turner was going to act as the backup tackle on both sides of the line if needed.
Head coach Matt LaFleur also elected to go short at running back as rookie Dexter Williams was made inactive. That left just Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and fullback Danny Vitale up for the game.
Also inactive for the Packers were guard Cole Madison, defensive lineman Kingsley Keke, cornerback Ka’Dar Hollman, wide receiver Darrius Shepherd and linebacker Oren Burks.
Newest Packer ready to go
Newly acquired inside linebacker B.J. Goodson must have come in and impressed defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga, because Goodson was active Thursday despite just arriving in Green Bay. The club announced his acquisition Tuesday afternoon, though he was not at the early practice that day.
Goodson had spent the entire preseason with the New York Giants. The fourth-year linebacker out of Clemson has started 20 career games and played in 37.
Bolton clarifies injury
Undrafted rookie linebacker Curtis Bolton was in line to start next to Blake Martinez at inside linebacker after Oren Burks tore his pectoral, but Bolton injured a knee in the Packers’ third preseason game against Oakland.
Bolton left that game in Winnipeg, Manitoba in a knee brace and on crutches, but heading into final cuts he still wasn’t sure what the injury was.
The Packers eventually put him on season-ending injured reserve but Thursday he posted a message to his Instagram account: “I was on track to start week 1 as an undrafted rookie after the world told me I’d be lucky to make a practice squad all because I bet on myself every morning I woke up and went an got after it.
My season was cut drastically short after I tore my ACL in week 3 of the preseason. Give me 9 months an I’ll pick up right where I left off... God is good even when life is not”
LaFleur’s debut one for the books
When the ball was kicked off at Soldier Field, Matt LaFleur officially became the youngest man to head the Packers since Curly Lambeau was a player-coach of the club in 1919. Lambeau was 21 when he assumed that role. At 39, LaFleur is the third-youngest head coach in the NFL this season.
The Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay is the youngest at 32 and San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan is exactly one month younger than LaFleur.
And by taking the field in Chicago, LaFleur became the first Packers head coach to oversee his first official game on the road in the 101 seasons of the franchise. With the NFL electing to have the Packers travel to play the Bears to open the league’s 100th season, LaFleur became just the second coach to make his debut in the league’s signature spot. The first was Washington’s Jim Zorn in 2008.