Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is expected to play but Tom Brady isn’t when the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots kick off their preseason schedules Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Entering his eighth season as Green Bay’s starting signal caller, Rodgers will likely work a few series with one of the deepest groups of receivers in the league as the Packers hope to field the league’s highest-scoring offense for the second straight year.
On the Patriots side, Brady missed practices on Tuesday and Wednesday while dealing with his “Deflategate” case against the NFL and will not play, according to reports. Instead, second-year passer Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start with newly signed Ryan Lindley also likely to receive plenty of snaps.
Though they’ve dealt with injuries at linebacker and up and down the defense during training camp, the Packers sport a glut of talented at the wide receiver position. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are the headliners, followed by second-year Davante Adams and rookie Ty Montgomery.
Head coach Mike McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel how impressed he’s been by Montgomery’s ability to quickly grasp the offense.
"He's picked it up very easily frankly, as quick as anyone that's probably come through here," McCarthy said. "That's a good thing. He's doing good things on special teams. He's made a play a day and he's off to a good start."
From there, third-year receiver Myles White is making a legitimate case to make the final 53-man roster with excellent work in camp, while Jeff Janis has struggled and Jared Abbrederis won’t play due to a concussion. Rookies Adrian Coxson (concussion) and Javess Blue (shoulder) have also been ruled out.
Green Bay’s also experiencing some health issues in the secondary, including rookie cornerback Damarious Randall (groin), who would have greatly benefited from a few series lined up against future Hall of Famer Brady. Randall should still see action, and fellow first-year corner Quinten Rollins is also expected play.
Meanwhile, the Patriots have dealt with a host of injuries all along the roster during camp. Garoppolo won’t have receivers Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, or even Aaron Dobson to target, while running backs LeGarrette Blount, Travaris Cadet, and Dion Lewis are also nursing injuries.
All told, 17 Patriots sat out the final practice before the start of the preseason, but New England can get a better sense of where rookie defensive back Jordan Richards can play heading into the season. The second-round pick will face Rodgers for the first time, and while he’s played several positions during camp it’s believed he could wind up at free safety or strong safety and even play some linebacker.
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NFL Network
Live Online: NFL Network Online