- Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Examining the Green Bay Packers' roster:
If the Packers are leaning toward keeping only two quarterbacks, then Matt Flynn likely will be their guy. Although he has a lower ceiling than Tolzien, he's been the more consistent performer so far in training camp. The Packers have not kept three quarterbacks on their opening-day roster since 2008, but they might be inclined to do so this season in order to avoid a situation like last year, when Rodgers broke his collarbone. Coach Mike McCarthy is high on Tolzien, who made two starts last season, but Flynn has proved he can win as a backup in Green Bay.
Running backs (4)
The return of Harris, who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, gives the Packers insurance behind Lacy and Starks. Kuhn is valuable both as a fullback and on special teams. It's possible they'll keep a fourth halfback, and undrafted rookies Rajion Neal of Tennessee and LaDarius Perkins of Mississippi State both have shown flashes.
The season-ending knee injury that rookie fifth-round pick Jared Abbrederis sustained in practice last week changes things here. Without Abbrederis, the Packers need another receiver who can play in the slot, and White fits that role. Seventh-round pick Jeff Janis could begin to make a push if he returns this week from the non-football illness list. He came down with shingles on the eve of training camp. Janis, however, looks like strictly an outside receiver at this point. Chris Harper has the physical tools but has been maddeningly inconsistent.
Tight ends (4)
Undrafted rookie Colt Lyerla was starting to show signs before he sustained a leg injury in Saturday's Family Night scrimmage. Bostick took his game up a notch in the last few days and is pushing for the starting spot.
Offensive linemen (9)
The Packers typically only activate seven offensive linemen on game day, so they could get away with keeping just eight on the roster. Barclay's ability to play all five positions also allows them some freedom. But given the reps Taylor has taken as Sitton's backup recently, it might be hard to cut him.
Defensive line (5)
There's a drastic change here from our first projection, which listed seven defensive linemen. But after Letroy Guion (hamstring) and Jerel Worthy (back) both failed their physicals and landed on the non-football injury list, they might be in trouble. Also, the Packers might keep an extra couple of linebackers given that Julius Peppers and Mike Neal, who are counted among the outside linebackers, also can play defensive end.
To those who have said there's no way the Packers don't keep at least one undrafted rookie free agent, we finally have one on the roster, and it's Thomas. He has seen his reps at inside linebacker increase in the last several days. Another undrafted rookie Adrian Hubbard is a promising prospect but has not yet shown enough to warrant a roster spot.
Hayward's return from last season's hamstring injury means he likely will return as the slot cornerback in the nickel package, a role played last year by Micah Hyde (who may primarily play safety this year).
Last week, Chris Banjo was the fifth safety on the 53. This week, we're going with only four. Richardson has jumped over Banjo on the depth chart. In fact, no safety has made more plays on the ball than Richardson, who had two interceptions in the first week of camp.
Unlike last year, when Crosby was under the microscope, there's no competition here. Crosby has made 20-of-22 field goals/PATs so far.