It took until the third preseason game, but the Green Bay Packers finally got their running backs going.
Ty Montgomery ripped off a 25-yard gain and then added a 2-yard touchdown run, and rookie Jamaal Williams flashed his skills as a receiver out of the backfield in Saturday's 20-17 loss at the Denver Broncos.
Montgomery missed last week's preseason game at Washington because of a lower leg injury and before that had just three carries for zero yards in the exhibition opener. He finished with 31 yards on three carries and one catch for 3 yards against the Broncos.
Williams, who has provided the best challenge to Montgomery's starting spot, caught three passes for 46 yards, including a 20-yard pickup on a short catch and run.
Here are some other highlights from Saturday’s game in Denver:
QB depth chart: Aaron Rodgers' preseason work is likely done after just three total series in two games. He's not expected to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Rams. In two series against the Broncos, Rodgers completed 3-of-5 passes for 12 yards that led to three points. In all, he played three preseason series and put up 10 points. Brett Hundley played the rest of the way, completed 20-of-30 passes for 186 yards and also scrambled for a 6-yard touchdown to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter. About the only struggles came on a pair of failed fourth-and-1 QB sneaks. The other two quarterbacks, Joe Callahan and Taysom Hill, did not play.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Packers looked : a little shaky protecting Rodgers, so coach Mike McCarthy pulled his quarterback after just two series. It happened after right tackle Jason Spriggs got beat on a spin move by Von Miller for a sack. Kyle Murphy and Spriggs rotated series at right tackle in place of injured starter Bryan Bulaga (ankle). Spriggs later was called for a hold in the third quarter while playing left tackle. On defense, they allowed explosive runs to both C.J. Anderson (16 yards) and Jamaal Charles (12), but then came up with two consecutive stops on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1. Mike Daniels was a beast with a sack and a tackle for a loss on a run play.
One reason to be concerned: Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are the Packers' only proven outside linebackers, so it had to be concerning to see Perry leave early in the game with a right ankle injury. Perry was able to walk off the field under his own power and might have returned if it were a regular-season game. Perry is coming off his best season with 11 sacks, but his injury history has some worried that he won't be able to live up to the five-year, $60 million deal he signed in March. Another outside linebacker, Jayrone Elliott, left with a back injury. The Packers also lost backup center Lucas Patrick, who left in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
That guy could start: Trevor Davis, as the punt returner. Yes, last week, everyone was ready to run him off after he muffed another return. No, he didn't return one for a touchdown like he did in the preseason opener, but his 27-yard punt return should help ease the concerns.
Rookie watch: While Williams was impressive as a receiver, fifth-round pick Aaron Jones (six carries for 43 yards) had the most productive outing among all the backs.
House's return (sort of): Although veteran cornerback Davon House did not play, he was in pads and participated in pregame warmups. He had not been on the field Aug. 5, when he felt his right hamstring tighten up in practice. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was scratched at the last minute after what was described as a precaution due to soreness in his knee. Others who did not suit up on Saturday were: CB Jermaine Whitehead (hip), CB Demetri Goodson (knee), RB William Stanback (hamstring), OLB Vince Biegel (knee), LB Jordan Tripp (concussion), G/C Don Barclay (ankle), DT Montravius Adams (foot), DE Dean Lowry (knee) and Bulaga (ankle).