The Green Bay Packers head into training camp with Aaron Rodgers returning healthy, and three other quarterbacks will compete for the backup job.
The Green Bay Packers head into 2014 with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers returning healthy from a collarbone injury that kept him out for nearly half of last season. Rodgers proved how valuable to the team he is when the Packers went 2-5-1 in games that he did not play all four quarters.
He returned in Week 17 to lead the Packers to an NFC North-clinching victory over the Chicago Bears. The former MVP continued to post impressive stats in the games he played, finishing with 17 touchdown passes against six interceptions for a 104.9 rating.
Rodgers has the starting job on lockdown, assuming he stays healthy. The backup position is up for grabs though. Matt Flynn is the favorite to win the No. 2 job for now, and he has already proven to be a reliable backup. The 29-year-old led the Packers to two comeback wins to keep their season afloat after he was signed off the street.
The team rewarded Flynn for his performance with a one-year deal, and he will look to prove that he can be a long-term backup solution. Flynn holds an advantage in the race for the second-string job because of his knowledge of the Packers’ playbook.
However, third-stringer Scott Tolzien gained experience in the offense by making three starts. The ex-Wisconsin Badger was eventually benched for committing turnovers though. Tolzien threw five interceptions against only one touchdown pass despite throwing for 717 yards. His arm strength is considered to be better than Flynn’s, which is why he is gaining ground in the competition. He also completed approximately 61 percent of his passes.
Although he is not expected to make the roster, the Packers brought in undrafted free agent Chase Rettig to compete in training camp. Rettig started at Boston College for four years, but he is a practice squad candidate at best due to the talent on the Packers’ roster.
ESPN reports that the Packers have not kept more than two quarterbacks on their roster since 2008, but they may have no choice but to add both Flynn and Tolzien. Teams may scoop up their third-stringer off practice squad waivers if they are not careful.