Rodgers Will Start Preseason Finale

Aaron Rodgers and most front-line players will at least play a little against the Chiefs on Thursday night; plus three roster cuts and more from Tuesday's practice, which was the final one open to the fans.

Proclaiming his strained foot as "fine," Aaron Rodgers returned to practice on Tuesday and will start Thursday's final preseason game against Kansas City.

It figures to be a brief performance in front of the home fans. In the 2010 finale at Kansas City, Rodgers and several other starters did not play. In the 2009 finale, he threw three passes against Tennessee. In 2008, he threw one pass — a 68-yard touchdown against Tennessee.

"If Aaron feels good, (he'll play), coach Mike McCarthy said. "He looked great playing today. It was probably me overreacting yesterday to Aaron going through camp. I think today helped him, he practiced extremely well. I see no reason for him not to play Thursday."

With a few exceptions, the Packers will play their front-line players against the Chiefs. McCarthy ruled out several injured players, including top playmakers Jermichael Finley, James Jones and Randall Cobb, and wait until Wednesday to decide on key veterans like Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews and Donald Driver.

"We'll approach this game as we have in recent years where the 1s will start the game and we'll discuss (Wednesday) to see exactly how long they will go," McCarthy said. "It's really a similar format we've used the last five years. It's important to play our younger guys as much as possible, and once again, gain as much information we can to make this final cut, cutting to the right 53, and that's going to be tough."

That's all, folks

This was the final practice that will be open to the public. There is no practice on Wednesday, the Packers host the Chiefs on Thursday and there is no practice on Friday and Saturday. The Packers begin preparations for next week's opener against the Saints on Sunday.

"I feel like we hit the targets that we set out to hit," McCarthy said. "The No. 1 priority was to gain as much information from a personnel standpoint so we're picking the right team, and that's going to be a challenge. The fourth preseason game usually takes care of that for you, and I'm looking for that to be the case after we get done playing Kansas City.

"As far as the reps and getting your No. 1 offense, defense and special teams (ready), I feel we're in good shape. Going no-huddle on offense helped us get our snap totals up. I thought our defense played well. There's a couple plays we can definitely learn from, and we have some battles still going on on special teams. But we've had some very encouraging situations really through the special teams that will answer itself against Kansas City."

Roster moves

To get to the league-mandated 80-man limit, the Packers released receiver Antonio Robinson, inside linebacker K.C. Asiodu and guard Adrian Battles. Battles, a first-year player from Minnesota State, didn't take a single snap in camp because of an injured Achilles. He was signed to the practice squad late last season.

On Sunday, they released receiver Brett Swain, tight end Spencer Havner and tackle Theo Sherman.

Injury updates

Old injuries: WR Randall Cobb (knees), S Anthony Levine (concussion), LB K.C. Asiodu (chest), LB Frank Zombo (shoulder), G Adrian Battles (Achilles), T Chris Campbell (shoulder), TE Ryan Taylor (hip flexor), TE Jermichael Finley (ankle), WR James Jones (knee bruise), DE Lawrence Guy (concussion), DE Mike Neal (knee).

Returned to practice: QB Aaron Rodgers (foot strain), WR Jordy Nelson (knee).

Four-point stance

Mason Crosby hit field goals of 36 and 42 yards and Tim Masthay bombed one punt after another with the wind at his back during a special teams period. With the line of scrimmage at the 20, Masthay hit a rocket that hit right at the sideline at the 16 and skidded out of bounds at the 6.

— After weeks of speculation, the NFL announced that Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5 will be the pregame musical acts for the NFL Kickoff concert on Oneida Street.

— Undrafted rookie receiver Tori Gurley made a strong finishing kick in an effort to make the team but picked a bad time for a bad practice. He dropped long passes from Graham Harrell and Matt Flynn.

— According to the Denver Post, Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews ranked first and second in leaguewide jersey sales in the period from April 1 to July 31.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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