- Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Examining the Green Bay Packers' roster:
If the Packers keep only two quarterbacks, bet on Tolzien being the backup while Flynn would be left out. But the more likely scenario is they keep both, and the proven winner (Flynn) is the backup this year while Tolzien takes another year to develop. Tolzien has shown too much promise to cut loose at this point.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Undrafted rookie LaDarius Perkins of Mississippi State made a late push, but there's probably not room for a fifth back.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
Veteran Andrew Quarless, who received a $350,000 signing bonus last March as part of a two-year deal, never made any kind of push for a starting job and could find himself on the street. If there's a surprise cut this year, it's him.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)
This is a spot where the Packers could be in the market for help either via trade or off the waiver wire. They could use another backup on the interior of the line and at tackle. As long as Tretter is out, which could be another month because of a knee injury, there's not another true center available behind Linsley.
DEFENSIVE LINE (5)
It would have been a tough call on whether to keep rookie third-round pick Khyri Thornton, who has been a non-factor in the preseason. But the hamstring injury he sustained against the Chiefs may have bought him a year on injured reserve. It's possible the loss of B.J. Raji to a season-ending torn biceps might force the Packers to go looking for another defensive tackle, but the return of Guion this week from a hamstring injury might be enough to fill the void. Pennel should make it as an undrafted rookie.
The knee injury that Nate Palmer sustained against the Chiefs may have given Bradford new life. If Palmer's injury is long-term, they can't keep him on the roster. It would be hard to give up on Bradford, a fourth-round pick, so soon. His move to inside linebacker last week may have saved him. Elliott, an undrafted rookie, showed too much pass-rushing promise to try to sneak through to the practice squad. Some team would claim the NFL's preseason sack leader (five sacks).
Rookie Demetri Goodson is another draft pick who might wind up on injured reserve (concussion). He has not done enough to warrant a roster spot. 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.
All three returning specialists are safe and secure.