- Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Examining the Green Bay Packers' roster:
This might be the hardest call of them all, whether to keep both Flynn and Tolzien. And if the answer is no, then which to keep? Flynn is a proven winner as a backup, although he lacks some of Tolzien's physical attributes. There's just something about the Flynn-Packers marriage that seems to work, but Tolzien is making it a tough call. This one is going right down to the end.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
It does not look like undrafted rookie Rajion Neal will have a shot because of the knee injury he sustained in the preseason opener, and neither rookie LaDarius Perkins of Mississippi State nor Michael Hill has done enough to warrant a spot. The Packers can get by with three halfbacks and a fullback.
If a sixth receiver sticks, it will be Kevin Dorsey. He has the potential to be a core special teams player. It may come down to the third quarterback or the sixth receiver.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
The toughest decision may come on Jake Stoneburner. He's not the special teams player or blocker that Taylor is but with Bostick out several weeks because of a leg injury, Stoneburner's skills as a receiver might be needed. The Packers put Colt Lyerla on injured reserve because of a knee injury.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)
The loss of Don Barclay to a season-ending knee injury makes the loss of starting center JC Tretter for up to six weeks even more problematic, but it might not cause the Packers to keep a ninth lineman. They typically activate only seven for games anyway.
DEFENSIVE LINE (5)
The loss of B.J. Raji to a season-ending torn biceps might not force the Packers to keep an extra defensive lineman, especially considering Letroy Guion (hamstring) can't get on the field. Going light at the this spot isn't as big of a deal because outside linebackers Mike Neal and Julius Peppers both can play with their hands on the ground.
Elliott, the undrafted rookie from Toledo, has played his way onto the roster by backing up his three-sack performance against the Rams with another sack on Friday against the Raiders. It gives the Packers a surplus of outside linebackers, but Mulumba and Palmer should stick because of their involvement on special teams. The way rookie outside linebacker Carl Bradford has played, there's little reason to keep him on the roster unless Thompson decides he just can't cut a fourth-round pick this soon. The Packers haven't cut a fourth-rounder coming out of camp since receiver Cory Rodgers in 2006.
Rookie Demetri Goodson is another draft pick who looks like he won't make it. The Packers can afford to keep only five cornerbacks because safety Micah Hyde will play as a slot cornerback in the dime package. If they keep another one, look at Jumal Rolle, who got a late-season promotion from the practice squad last year.
This group went from the weak link of the defense last year to potentially having three starting-caliber players in Burnett, Hyde and Clinton-Dix. Plus, Richardson keeps showing playmaking potential and Banjo has played a big part on special teams.
Unlike last year, when Crosby was under the microscope, there's no competition here.