Rookie QBs running out of time

Packers must decide soon whether they will have to acquire a veteran to back up Rodgers

What would the Packers do if Aaron Rodgers would miss a game or two — even a series or two — with an injury?

Rookie second-round pick Brian Brohm has been Rodgers' primary backup since draft day, but at this point, it appears the offense would be in dire straits with the former Louisville star directing the attack.

Including Friday's abysmal 0-for-4 performance at Denver, Brohm is 12-for-30 for 103 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception in three preseason games. His passer rating is a mere 35.8, which isn't much worse than it was before the game (41.0).

Rookie seventh-round pick Matt Flynn's rating is a solid 87.1. While he's completed 19-of-29 passes — that's 65.5 percent compared to Brohm's 40.0 percent — those passes have gained a mere 132 yards.

Coach Mike McCarthy probably will discard Friday's results because Rodgers took the bulk of the reps. Brohm and Flynn, however, will play the lion's share of Thursday's preseason finale against Tennessee. That's assuming another quarterback isn't signed in the interim. Doing so would take away reps from the rookies — which McCarthy would rather not do — but it's a possibility if it's absolutely clear to McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson that the offense would be up a creek with either of the rookies in the game.

"I need to give Brian and Matt more opportunities in the passing game next week, because they didn't have very many opportunities tonight," McCarthy said after Friday's game.

If neither quarterback impresses in their ample playing time against the Titans, Thompson almost certainly will have to look for a veteran castoff once teams start trimming their rosters. The first round of cuts — from 80 players to 75 — must be made by Tuesday. The final cutdown to 53 is Saturday, Aug. 30.

Brohm was erratic against Denver. After four straight running plays upon entering the game, Brohm threw three passes in the third quarter. The second was a wobbler — he's thrown several of those during camp — and the third was almost intercepted.

Later, he overthrew tight end Tory Humphrey by about 10 yards on a seam route in the fourth quarter — ignoring a wide-open Jordy Nelson, who was left uncovered after a corner blitz.

Flynn completed both of his passes for a whopping 2 yards.

If the Packers sign a veteran, Brohm would be relegated to No. 3 and Flynn would be released, though the Packers surely would want to try to stash him to their practice squad.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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