The long-awaited moment arrives for the Green Bay Packers as they step back onto the field for game action, facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals in a preseason contest on Friday night. This pivotal matchup signals the true beginning of their preseason journey, with a trio of games and another joint practice session awaiting them on the horizon.
As the preseason gains momentum, the Packers have diligently honed a robust foundation to build. With approximately two and a half weeks left before the final roster trim from 90 to 53 players, a sense of opportunity hangs in the air for these five defensive contenders who find themselves straddling the roster bubble as they approach the forthcoming preseason clash.
These five defensive players on the Green Bay Packers are squarely on the roster bubble entering the beginning of preseason.
The destinies of these players may become interwoven, influenced by the finite capacity of an NFL roster. Currently, Green Bay boasts five steadfast pillars on the defensive line, namely Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt, TJ Slaton, Colby Wooden, and Karl Brooks. Paving the way for a sixth addition would inevitably require a sacrifice from another position group, compelling decisions that ripple across the roster landscape, even as Jonathan Ford showcases a commendable performance throughout training camp.
Brenton Cox showcased promise during OTA and minicamp sessions, yet his momentum appeared to stall upon entering training camp. His presence has been rather subdued thus far, but the upcoming preseason offers a chance to shift that narrative. With Rashan Gary’s reentry, the Packers presently boast a quintet of confirmed outside linebackers for the initial roster, featuring Gary, Preston Smith, Lukas Van Ness, Justin Hollins, and Kingsley Enagbare. The intricate challenge lies in the versatility of Van Ness and Quay Walker, potentially affecting both Ford and Cox, as they vie for coveted spots.
Tariq Carpenter is having a solid training camp, but he needs to do more to make the team. De’Vondre Campbell, Walker, Isaiah McDuffie, and Eric Wilson are all ahead of him on the depth chart. Carpenter is trying to learn a new position and be more versatile to improve his chances of earning a spot by August 29.
Anthony Johnson Jr.
The Packers are in a bit of a bind at safety. They lack a clear solution for the long term and are also lacking dependable short-term options. What they do have is a group of five average veterans who are highly likely to secure spots on the team. Anthony Johnson Jr. will need to demonstrate significant long-term potential to justify the Packers carrying a sixth safety.
Should the Packers opt for a sixth safety, it’s improbable that they would also retain their sixth cornerback, Corey Ballentine. Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon, and Carrington Valentine have all been performing exceptionally well. With Eric Stokes set to rejoin the lineup after recovering from injury, the team already boasts five strong cornerbacks.