5 Green Bay Packers on the Roster Bubble Heading into Preseason Week 2
A player who finds himself on the bubble definitely still has a chance to make the team. However, even the slightest misstep could cause that player to find himself on the outside looking in when the regular season starts.
The Packers have five players who find themselves on the roster bubble heading into Week 2 of the preseason. Let's take an in-depth look at why they're on the bubble and predict a verdict as to whether they'll be cut or not before the regular season.
QB Matt Flynn
It may seem crazy to think that quarterback Matt Flynn is on the roster bubble. However, Scott Tolzien has been quickly gaining ground on Flynn for the backup quarterback job.
In fact, quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt called the competition "up in the air," according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This was after Tolzien greatly outperformed Flynn in the Packers' first preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
If the Packers end up feeling good enough about Tolzien throughout training camp, it's definitely possible they give him the No. 2 job and cut ties with Flynn.
Verdict: Makes the Final Roster
The reason Flynn will ultimately make the roster is because the quarterback tragedy from last year is still so fresh in the Packers' minds. However, it won't be as Aaron Rodgers' primary backup, but as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart.
TE Ryan Taylor
The problem for Ryan Taylor is that there is simply too much talent at the position he plays. Taylor's a fine, all-around player, but his upside doesn't come near the other top tight ends on the roster.
The three tight ends that are current locks for the roster are Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick and rookie Richard Rodgers. All three of those players will definitely end up higher on the depth chart than Taylor.
That leaves the No. 4 spot for Taylor, but even that spot is up for grabs. Undrafted free agent Justin Perillo is having a nice camp where he is literally catching everything, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Simply put, Taylor is going to face an uphill battle to find his way off the roster bubble.
Taylor definitely brings value as a blocker and on special teams, but the Packers don't have the luxury of keeping extra tight ends. Look for him to be one of the last players released by Green Bay during the preseason.
ILB Sam Barrington
The weakest position on the Packers roster heading into the preseason was inside linebacker. Through the first game, that hasn't changed.
Due to the struggles with talent at the position, the Packers will likely keep an extra inside linebacker on the final roster. That final spot was likely going to second-year player Sam Barrington.
Of course, that was before undrafted rookie Joe Thomas stepped on the field. Thomas has excelled during training camp, the Packers' Family Night and was a standout performer during his first preseason game.
He luckily avoided major injury in that game, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, which is good for his future in Green Bay. As for Barrington, he's going to need to really flash on the field to catch up to Thomas.
This will be the hardest cut the Packers have to make due to Barrington's age. However, the Packers need players who can produce at inside linebacker, and right now Thomas is the one showing he can do that.
OLB Nick Perry
One way to find your way onto the roster bubble is by having a a difficult offseason. Even though outside linebacker Nick Perry has no reason for being on the bubble, he finds himself there because he's having a horrid offseason.
It began with him being injured to start training camp. That instantly forced him to play catch-up once he got back on the field. Unfortunately, he hasn't excelled during camp now that he's healthy.
When Perry finally got on the field in the first preseason game, he was kept in check by rookie offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. Overall, it has been far from an ideal offseason for Perry, and it's put him squarely on the roster bubble in Green Bay.
Verdict: Makes the Final Roster
Despite all the struggles Perry is having, he'll be one of the last five in to make the final 53-man roster for the Packers. It'll simply be too hard for the Packers to give up on such a recent first-round pick.
S Chris Banjo
No position has been more surprising than the safeties for the Packers during training camp and the first preseason game.
This was supposed to be one of the weaker positions on the roster, but it's quickly turning into one of the strongest positions. This is due to the drafting of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the switching of positions by Micah Hyde and the development of Sean Richardson.
Those three above players have all been solid during camp, which is leaving Chris Banjo on the outside looking in. At this point, even if Banjo begins to play at a high level, it might be too little, too late.
The Packers need to feel good about the top four safeties on their roster in Clinton-Dix, Hyde, Richardson and Morgan Burnett. They could sneak a fifth onto the roster in Banjo, but it'd be better to use that roster spot on a bigger position of need like defensive line.