The battle for the final spots on the Chiefs 53-man roster will conclude Thursday night in Kansas City as the Chiefs take on the Green Bay Packers. We won’t see much of the first-team and might not even see a whole lot of the second-team, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty to see when these teams hit the field. With the Chiefs looking to get healthy for the season opener, fringe players will get a nice long look.
Here are the players from each team to keep your eyes on.
Offense: Brodie Croyle
He doesn’t have to worry about a roster spot, but after sitting out the last two weeks with an injury Croyle needs to show that he will be able to hold up physically if his number is called during the season. With injuries possibly forcing the Chiefs to make some difficult roster decisions, being able to only carry two quarterbacks into the season would go a long way to help with the mixing and matching.
We’ve heard all of the “Brokie” jokes and there’s no ignoring his injury history. That means there’s a good chance Todd Haley decides to hold onto all three of his signal callers. Croyle will go a long way towards easing any worries about his health with 2 or 3 quarters of solid football — while taking a few hard hits along the way.
After spending all of 2009 on the 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent, Walters is being squeezed by a numbers game in his second training camp. The injuries to Tamba Hali and rookie Cameron Sheffield — who had jumped him on the Chiefs “unofficial” depth chart — will likely provide Walters with the most game action he has seen in his short career.
If he can go out against the Packers and show that he can deliver on defense along with his duties on special teams, it will be hard for the team to send him home in favor of David Herron.
Special Teams: Javarris Williams
After being overshadowed by Jackie Battle the last couple of weeks, Williams will need a big game both on offense and on special teams to try and secure one of the final spots on the roster.
The biggest problem for Williams is that Battle hasn’t only been impressive in the running game, but also on special teams. Meaning that even if he plays well against the Packers, Williams’ fate may have already been decided.
Offense: Matt Flynn
If you are expecting to see much of starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, you should find some tape of a game from last season because you will be lucky to see him take more than a handful of snaps Thursday night. Instead you will get a heavy dose of Flynn, entering his third year as the backup to Rodgers.
Defense: Sam Shields
One of the roster battles that will go down to the wire in Green Bay is the one for the right to be the starting nickel back for the Packers. Part of the problem, it would seem, is that no one player has stopped up and grabbed the job, leaving guys down on the depth chart like the rookie Shields with a chance to steal the job.
Special Teams: Jason Chery
Talk about a player that has gone from “out of nowhere” to a real chance to make the Packers roster. The man with a sub 4.3 40 time took a punt to the house against the Colts and earned himself a shot to return all kicks and punts against the Chiefs.
As far as challenges to the Kansas City team speed go, it won’t get much tougher than Chery.