Predicting the final roster

The Green Bay Packers will reduce their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players by Saturday afternoon.'s Todd Korth, who has watched the team closely from the sideline this preseason, predicts the number of players general manager Ted Thompson will keep at each position, including a comment, and those who are bound for the team's eight-man practice squad.

Quarterback (3)
Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Ingle Martin
Comment: This is the easiest prediction since there are only three quarterbacks on the roster.

Running backs (4)
Ahman Green, Samkon Gado, Najeh Davenport, Noah Herron
Comment: Look for the Packers to go with one fullback and use Herron in a pinch. Ahman Green is back, but not totally back. It is difficult to imagine him playing a full game on his tender, surgically repaired quadriceps. The staff likes rookie free agent Arliss Beach, but he has been injured twice in training camp, the latest his right ankle. Beach will be a strong candidate for the practice squad.

Fullbacks (1)
William Henderson
Comment: Henderson is quickly on track toward returning from the knee injury that he sustained on Aug. 19 against Atlanta for the regular season opener, according to coach Mike McCarthy. By keeping Henderson, the Packers will part ways with Vonta Leach, who simply cannot be relied on to catch passes out of the backfield. Look for the Packers to keep a fullback, like rookie Ben Brown, on the practice squad just in case Henderson goes down again.

Wide receivers (5)
Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Rod Gardner, Ruvell Martin, Corey Rodgers
Comment: Robert Ferguson's time in Green Bay is up. Aside from one impressive catch against San Diego earlier this month, he has had an unimpressive training camp. The Packers likely are trying to trade him, but there probably aren't any takers at this time. He has been prone to injuries, which has kept him off the field. Though Rodgers has struggled catching punts during camp, he has a lot of potential, a key buzzword for Thompson and McCarthy this preseason, and is a fourth-round draft pick.

Tight ends (3)
Bubba Franks, Donald Lee, Tory Humphrey
Comment: Like Ferguson, David Martin's time in Green Bay is up as well. He has been injury prone in his first five seasons in Green Bay, plus he hasn't done anything more than the younger Humphrey, Lee, or rookie free agent Zac Alcorn in camp.

Offensive line (10)
Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Tony Moll, Jason Spitz, Scott Wells, Junius Coston, Siitupe Peko, Josh Bourke, Darren Colledge, Chris White
Comment: Clifton and Tauscher will start at the tackle positions, and Moll and Spitz at guard. Wells will be the center, backed by White. Coston has shown an ability to play tackle as has Bourke, though they are both raw, and Peko gives the Packers experience and versatility inside at guard and, if needed, center. Will Whitticker has missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury. Bourke beat him out at left tackle early in camp. He may be a candidate for injured reserve.

Defensive line (10)
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Aaron Kampman, Ryan Pickett, Colin Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Corey Williams, Kenderick Allen, Johnny Jolly, Mike Montgomery, Kenny Peterson
Comment: KGB and Kampman will start at the end positions with Pickett and Cole in the middle. The Packers rotate their linemen frequently in each game, so look for Jenkins, Allen and Williams to be in the mix on game days. Peterson, though he has missed a number of practices with an ankle injury, will probably make the team, but not by much. Neither Dave Tollefson nor Jason Hunter have done anything, thus far, to persuade the coaching staff to keep either one of them, but that could change if either one of them plays well Friday against Tennessee. Otherwise, they are strong candidates for the practice squad.

Linebackers (6)
A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Ben Taylor, Abdul Hodge, Brady Poppinga, Tracy White
Comment: The only surprise here is White, who signed as a free agent this off-season. Roy Manning, who worked his way into the starting lineup last season, has been invisible in camp. White has been used ahead of Manning on special teams, which is why the Packers will keep him.

Cornerbacks (4)
Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Jason Horton, Mike Hawkins
Comment: That's right, Ahmad Carroll's time in Green Bay is up, too. Though Carroll has all kinds of talent, he burned some bridges during training camp with his attitude. That and his suspect coverage ability has worked against him the entire camp. For whatever reason, Carroll simply doesn't believe in his own ability to cover receivers. Hawkins has excellent speed, though, he has been bothered by a knee injury. However, he has showed that he is willing to play through the pain, which is what the staff is seeking in players. Fourth-round pick Will Blackmon, who has been out since May with a broken bone in his foot, is a strong candidate for either the injured reserve list, or to remain on the physically unable to perform list. If Blackmon remains on PUP, he will have to sit out the first six weeks of the season. In his case, that will serve as his training camp when he is able to return.

Safeties (4)
Marquand Manuel, Nick Collins, Tyrone Culver, Tra Boger
Comment: Manuel, Collins and Culver are locks. Flip a coin for the fourth spot. I'll take Boger because he has been in Green Bay all off-season. Jeremy Modkins was recently signed and Atari Bigby returned to practice Wednesday after breaking his hand during the Family Night scrimmage on Aug. 5. If Marviel Underwood, who is out for the season with a knee injury, was healthy, this wouldn't be an issue.

Specialists (3)
Dave Rayner, Jon Ryan, Rob Davis
Comment: Rayner will have to really struggle for the Packers to give up on him. He has a strong leg and simply needs experience. The Packers have a young team that isn't going anywhere this season, so why sign a veteran kicker? It will be better for the Packers to develop Rayner and endure his ups and downs. Ditto with punter Jon Ryan. Ton of potential there, but he needs to experience an NFL season. Davis, the team's veteran long snapper, is like fine wine, always getting better with age.

Practice squad (8)
Defensive ends Dave Tollefson and Jason Hunter
Quarterback Brian Wrobel
Fullback Ben Brown
Tight end Zac Alcorn
Wide receivers Carlton Brewster and Chris Francies
Guard Pete Traynor

Todd Korth

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