Did Jared Abbrederis, others on bubble do enough to make Packers' roster?


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Everywhere you turned in the Green Bay Packers' locker room after Thursday's preseason finale, player after fringe player fielded some form of the same question:

Did you do enough?

Receiver Jared Abbrederis, who made his only preseason appearance the 38-10 victory against the New Orleans Saints, got it several times.

So did receiver Myles White, who caught a pair of touchdown passes.

The backup running backs -- Rajion Neal, Alonzo Harris and John Crockett -- all heard some variation of the question as well.

Neal smartly offered the only answer anyone other than coach Mike McCarthy or general manager Ted Thompson possibly could.

"I don’t know," he said after a long pause. "It's just so hard to give a definite answer because you just never know what play or what situation that may outweigh another or where their mindset is or just what may have happened out there today that may have changed some minds."

Let's start with the interesting case of Abbrederis.

In two preseasons, he's had a grand total of eight training camp practices and just one game. He was done after five practices as a rookie because of a torn ACL. In the first practice this summer, he was concussed so badly that he didn't return until the final one on Tuesday (and then also practiced in the team's closed session on Wednesday).

In his first game since the Citrus Bowl at the end of the 2013 college season at Wisconsin, Abbrederis played nearly the entire game. He only caught one pass for 6 yards against the Saints but was targeted four times. He made his biggest splash as a punt returner, going 17 yards the first time he touched the ball. He averaged 11.7 yards on three returns but also fumbled once (although it was wiped out because of a Saints' penalty).

With a large group of reporters around Abbrederis, receiver Jordy Nelson walked by and said: "Man, you get all this attention for one catch?"

But for Abbrederis, it was more than that. It was his first -- and only -- chance to show he belongs.

"I don't know," he said when asked if he did enough. "I'll leave that up for you guys to decide, or the coaches to decide. I was just trying to go out there, have fun and do what I could. It's a limited time. I played a lot today, but just coming back on Tuesday, it was fun. I wish I could’ve been back earlier, have a couple more games under my belt. But that's what it is."

If the Packers keep six receivers, then perhaps both White and Abbrederis will stick. It's more likely that they'll keep five. White led the Packers in both receptions (16) and yards (157). He caught two touchdowns, both against the Saints.

"Like I said earlier in the preseason, if they have to cut me I just want them to have to look the other way if they do it," White said. "And I think that would be the situation if they did."

Neal looked like the leader to join Eddie Lacy and James Starks in the running back group. He started Thursday's game and finished the preseason with the best yards-per-carry average (4.1) and the most catches (11) among the candidates for the No. 3 job.

However, Crockett rushed for a game-high 42 yards on eight carries against the Saints and scored on a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Harris got the most carries (13) and perhaps most remarkable was he had no trouble hanging on to the ball while playing with a cast on his broken right hand.

But was it enough?

Between now and the final cuts, which are due Saturday at 3 p.m., they must ask themselves that question several times.

"As a player, you never really think you do enough," Crockett said. "You never really know what they're thinking."