When the Green Bay Packers play host to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 of the preseason, they will be without a number of players due to injuries, precautionary reasons, or rest. The playing time left open will provide plenty of players with big opportunities as they look to make the team.
The second preseason game will also feature the debut of Jermichael Finley, Charles Woodson, and Alex Green. After only playing two series against the Browns, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers starting offensive should see at least one or two more series this week. Matt Flynn will most likely play into the third quarter and Graham Harrell will finish it off.
According to The Washington Post, Capers expects the No. 1 team defense to go about 15 to 20 plays. This will most likely take the first team defense through the first quarter.
Not officially ruled out, there are several Packers that are not expected to play because of injuries. Here is a list of players who may not be in uniform.
Tightness in his hamstring kept Matthews from finishing practice yesterday, and it is safe to assume the linebacker will not play. This is a big opportunity for Vic So'oto, who is on the bubble for a roster spot. He should see plenty of action, and a strong showing would move him that much closer to a spot. If Matthews does play, expect Kevin Kolb to be very afraid.
Only carrying the ball twice before an ankle injury forced him out, Starks hasn't practiced all week and looks doubtful to play. In a battle for the starting running back position, this is certainly a hiccup for Starks as Grant will see all the action with first-team offense. Grant, at most, will see the first quarter before taking a rest and letting Alex Green and Brandon Saine take over. Green is expected to make the team as the third back. Saine has impressed and could force the Packers to keep four backs.
A few days after a serious-looking injury turned out to be only a knee sprain, it is unlikely that the Packers rush Neal back onto the field this quickly. This provides a huge audition for C.J. Wilson and Jarius Wynn on the defensive line. Wilson is expected to start and see action against the first-team Cardinals offensive line. If the Packer's front office is unimpressed with fill-ins, don't be surprised to see the Packers pick up a player on the waiver wire.
There is a chance that any of these three could see the field, but it highly unlikely after missing practice time. It would almost seem irresponsible to rush these players back so quickly for a meaningless game.
Mike McCarthy has already officially ruled out five players from tonight's game. Here is a list of those players and the impact that their absence will have.
He was last seen in action on Family Night, but he injured his knee and had surgery for a torn meniscus. He is expected to miss the next week. He is already unlikely to make the team this year, and the missed time due to his injury surely will not do him any favors.
He hasn't practiced since an Achilles injury on August 5th. It is unsure when he will be back at practice. He is also very unlikely to make the team. He spent the end of last season on the practice squad and may find himself right back there if he is lucky.
Out of action for two weeks as he is suffering from reoccurring concussion symptoms, Guy has seen big opportunities go to waste as he waits. It is very unlikely Mike Neal will play after a knee injury earlier this week, and the depth at defensive line could use a boost. Guy has a chance to make the roster, but he really needs to get healthy quickly and get back on the field.
Facing extremely ugly and embarrassing legal issues, it very likely that Underwood will be on his way out of Green Bay once his knee injury heals. He has been out of action since the ninth and is not expected back for another week or two.
After a nasty collision at practice with Pat Lee, Levine will miss an opportunity to cement a spot on the roster. The Packers will be quite thin at safety with only Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett and Charlie Peprah able to go. Jarrett Bush may see the field at safety as he has occasionally in practice.