The NFL released the preseason schedule on Thursday. Not all dates and times have been announced, but here’s a first look at the opponents for the Green Bay Packers:
Week 1 (Aug. 7) vs. Indianapolis Colts (Canton, Ohio)
Comment: Don’t expect coach Mike McCarthy to play many of his starters in the annual Hall of Fame game. Listening to him talk recently about a five-game preseason, it sounds like he plans to use the first two games as an opportunity to get his young players plenty of action. Also, given that the Packers play the Colts in the regular season, McCarthy likely won’t want to show much.
Week 2 (Aug. 11-15) vs. Cleveland Browns
Comment: The Packers’ defense should get the chance to face new Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III in the home preseason opener. The Packers played the Browns four straight years in the preseason (2009-12) and last played them in the regular season in 2013. They’ll see a familiar face in the Browns’ secondary, former Packers cornerback Tramon Williams.
Week 3 (Aug. 18-22) vs. Oakland Raiders
Comment: No more Charles Woodson in Oakland, but the Packers play the Raiders for the second time in three years in the preseason and also played them last year in the regular season, winning 30-20 in Week 15. As a rookie last year, Raiders receiver Amari Cooper caught a pair of touchdowns and had six catches for 120 yards.
Week 4 (Aug. 25-28) at San Francisco 49ers
Comment: Who knows whether Colin Kaepernick will be the 49ers quarterback by then, but there’s a chance Aaron Rodgers won’t play in this game, either. Last summer, the Packers quarterback didn’t play in either of the final two preseason games.
Week 5 (Sept. 1-2) at Kansas City Chiefs
Comment: McCarthy will likely treat the finale much like the opener. In last year’s preseason finale against the Saints, he didn’t play Rodgers, Eddie Lacy or most of the starting offensive line. He also held out several healthy defensive starters, including Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers. Packers president Mark Murphy said he requested that the team finish the preseason on the road because Wisconsin and LSU are playing at Lambeau Field on Sept. 3.