The Green Bay Packers are set to take on the New Orleans Saints in their second of three preseason games this season.
The team held two joint practices with the Saints this week in addition to regular practices on Sunday and Monday. Here is a look at five Packers players who improved their chances of making the team or winning jobs after this week’s practices:
- WR Juwann Winfree
The veteran wide receiver is facing tough competition in the fight for a roster spot but Winfree continues to play well in practice and earn the praise of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The longer the rookie receivers struggle with their reads and routes and the more Winfree shows his familiarity with the offense and with Rodgers, the better chance he has of sticking on the roster. This has been a good week so far for Winfree.
- Edge Kobe Jones
Jones continues to get good pressure on opposing quarterbacks in practice and he played well in the joint practices with the Saints this week, registering another sack.
The Packers signed the former Mississippi State star after giving him a tryout at rookie camp and he earned an invitation to training camp. Now he has put together three strong days at practice and is catching the eye of the media and fans. He even got to celebrate with Rashan Gary after making his sack during Wednesday’s joint practice.
Jones may not make the final 53-man roster, but he’s giving the coaching staff something to think about and may land on the practice squad if there isn’t room for him to start the season.
- QB Jordan Love
Love looks more confident and more consistent this week than he did against the 49ers in the preseason opener. Wednesday against New Orleans may have been his best practice of this year’s training camp.
The highlight was a 50-yard pass to rookie receiver Samori Toure for a touchdown which was preceded by a 19-yard dart to Amari Rodgers. Both plays came during a two-minute drill.
Love still needs to be more consistent and needs to show it in an actual game rather than a joint practice, but the good performances and flashes of ability are happening more often and that’s a very encouraging sign.
The next two preseason games will be important ones for the third-year man out of Utah State as GM Brian Gutekunst still must decide on whether to pick up Love’s fifth-year option next offseason and whether he is the best man to take over at quarterback when Aaron Rodgers finally decides to retire.
- WR Samori Toure
Toure struggled a bit early in training camp but he has been making more plays in practice this week including the pretty, 50-yard touchdown catch mentioned above. He also caught a two-point conversion during the two-minute drill.
Toure specialized in making long catches at Nebraska last season and his ability to stretch the field could eventually make him a potential replacement for Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
At 6’3” and 190, Toure has the size the Packers prefer in their receivers. He also has risen to the occasion in clutch situations in practice this week.
If Toure continues to produce in practice and the final two preseason games, he will make it tough for Matt LaFleur to cut him even if that means the Packers keep seven wide receivers on the roster.
- Edge Kingsley Enagbare
Like Toure, Enagbare got off to a slow start when training camp opened but the light seems to have come on for the fifth-round pick out of South Carolina.
Enagbare has been making sacks in the joint practice with the Saints and has been showing off a variety of moves to get to the quarterback.
He is powerful and smart and has appeared much more comfortable with the play calls and what the defense is trying to do on the field.
The Packers have been concerned about their depth at edge rusher but the progress shown by Enagbare this week makes that a bit less of a concern. If the rookie can put together some strong performances in the team’s remaining preseason games, he could challenge for a spot in the rotation behind Gary and Preston Smith.
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