The Packers close out the 2010 exhibition season with a game against the Chiefs at 7 tonight at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
They may pay lip service about wanting to win, but coach Mike McCarthy is expected to rest his frontline players in order to keep them healthy for the season opener Sept. 12 in Philadelphia.
Though this game likely won't earn huge ratings for Channel 4, there are still some points of interest.
For example ...
One last look: Though Tim Masthay has had the look of a winner for more than a week, the Packers claim that their punting competition isn't decided. Masthay, a left-footer who kicked in college at Kentucky, will battle Chris Bryan one last time. Bryan, who missed a practice this week in order to attend the birth of his second child, has kicked well enough to win a job somewhere, but Masthay's consistency and hang times seem to give him an edge. It'll be interesting to see if the Packers keep the runner-up on the practice squad.
Happy returns? Rookie receiver Jason Chery seemed headed for the cut list last week, but he revived his roster hopes with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown. Chery, will take all the returns tonight in Kansas City. He's still a long shot, but another explosive return could win him a roster spot.
The injury report: Here are the names, as provided by the teams.
Packers: S Atari Bigby (ankle), CB Al Harris (knee) and RB James Starks (hamstring) were placed on the regular-season physically unable to perform list and are out for the first six weeks of the regular season, at minimum. RB Quinn Porter (knee) was placed on season-ending injured reserve. LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), DE Cullen Jenkins (calf), OL Allen Barbre (back) and LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring) are out. S/PR Will Blackmon (knee) and CB Brandon Underwood (shoulder) are unlikely to play. LB Brad Jones (shoulder) is expected to play.
Chiefs: OLB Tamba Hali (ankle), RT Ryan O'Callaghan (groin), OLB Cameron Sheffield (neck) and CB Maurice Leggett (neck) may not play.
Ground beef: Though the Packers' offense has looked unstoppable at times, critics point out that the running game has been lackluster. Ryan Grant has 16 carries in three games and doesn't figure to get more than one or two tonight. Kregg Lumpkin figures to see plenty of action this evening.
Ready for prime time: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been outstanding during the pre-season (41 for 53 for 470 yards with six touchdowns, no interceptions and a 141.2 passer rating) and his only goal tonight is to avoid injury. Look for Rodgers to play one series and then turn the game over to backup Matt Flynn, who has looked sharp in the past several weeks, and Graham Harrell.
Sam I am: Rookie Sam Shields has been playing in the Packers' nickel package for the past week and -- given his speed an ball-hawking instincts -- is a good candidate to receive playing time during the season opener at Philadelphia.
Trade winds: The Packers could try to trade tackle Breno Giacomini, guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, cornerback Quinn Johnson and others at the deadline. The return might net just a few draft picks, but it could be worth the phone call. There have been rumors of deals, but it's hard to post
Running the table? The Chiefs are 0-3 during the exhibition season. While that means nothing for their prospects, the period before the regular-season opener will be a bit more enjoyable if they grab a victory tonight.
Five is a crowd: The Packers have five tight ends -- Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, Spencer Havner, Tom Crabtree and Andrew Quarless -- and it seems unlikely that they'll keep them all. Lee, who makes big money for a backup, could be on the way out.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.