- Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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If the knee injury that Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson sustained on the opening drive of Sunday's preseason game at Pittsburgh is indeed a torn ACL, it’s a potentially season-altering situation. Nelson landed awkwardly after a short reception and limped off the field following the non-contact injury. He walked to the locker room under his own power but did not return. Here are some quick thoughts on the Packers' 24-19 loss to the Steelers:
QB depth chart: Backup Scott Tolzien continued to show how much he has improved after coach Mike McCarthy took out starter Aaron Rodgers following a sack for a safety on Rodgers' second series. Rodgers completed 4-of-5 passing for 57 yards and led one touchdown drive that Eddie Lacy capped with a 7-yard run. Tolzien completed 11-of-19 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown. He led a six-play, 47-yard drive that included a 21-yard TD pass to tight end Richard Rodgers with 12 seconds left in the first half. Backup quarterback Brett Hundley and Matt Blanchard didn't get much done.
Maybe that guy can't start: Offensive line coach James Campen said last week that if Don Barclay had to start at left tackle in place of David Bakhtiari (knee), then he has to play like the starting left tackle. Barclay did not show that he could. He allowed two sacks, including the safety of Rodgers, and also had a holding penalty in the first half alone.
Who got hurt?: In addition to Nelson, starting right guard T.J. Lang left in the first half and was being evaluated for a concussion. Aaron Rodgers was seen with ice on his right hand/wrist area while watching from the bench. In the second half, cornerback Damarious Randall was taken to the locker room on a cart but then returned to the game.
A surprise player who looks amazing: Amazing might be a stretch, but undrafted rookie cornerback LaDarius Gunter continues to make plays on the ball. He broke up at least three passes.
Rookie watch: In his first preseason action, Randall, the Packers' first-round pick, came up with an interception on the first play of the third quarter. He picked off an underthrown deep ball by No. 3 quarterback Landry Jones.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Packers looked …: Good on the first offensive drive, when Rodgers led a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive but then was sacked for a safety on the second possession. On defense, it was hard to call it starters vs. starters because linebacker Clay Matthews, defensive tackle Mike Daniels and safety Morgan Burnett all did not play.
One reason to freak out: Nelson has been the Packers' leading receiver three of the past four seasons. What's more, he's their best deep threat. He ranks third in the NFL with 53 catches of 25 yards or more since 2011.
Lacy looks good: Lacy scored the Packers' first touchdown on a 9-yard run and finished with 30 yards on six carries. In two preseason games, Lacy has 11 carries for 66 yards.
Coming home: After opening the preseason with two straight road games, the Packers finally play at Lambeau Field on Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles.