Game notes: Quay Walker feels ready for the regular season

Packers’ hopefuls state their case in Kansas City for a roster spot

Packers LB Quay Walker tackles Chiefs TE Jody Fortson in Green Bay's 17-10 loss to Kansas City on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Quay Walker felt like he was just getting started.

The Packers' rookie first-round pick needed just the first 15 minutes of Thursday night's 17-10 preseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs to rack up a team-high five tackles (three solo) and show he's ready for the regular-season spotlight.

The inside linebacker was ready to go back into the game for a third defensive series at the start of the second quarter before the coaching staff told Walker his night was over.

"Everything has pretty much slowed down for me because that was my third preseason game," Walker said. "I wanted to keep going but I got pulled out."

Lining up next to second-year linebacker Isaiah McDuffie, Walker started with a stop of Jerick McKinnon three yards short of the first down to force a Kansas City punt.

On the next series, Walker was involved on four tackles, including the stop of tight end Jody Fortson that led to the Chiefs having to settle for a 44-yard Harrison Butker field goal.

The 6-foot-4, 241-pound linebacker also showed his sideline-to-sideline ranginess when he came over to push Chiefs receiver Mecole Hardman out of bounds.

Beyond just the tackles, Walker was responsible for relaying the defensive calls when he was on the field this preseason. That experience has helped the 6-foot-4, 241-pound linebacker feel more comfortable in his new defense.

"It's allowed me to put a lot of stuff on my shoulders and be a guy the defense can look to," Walker said. "Me relaying the calls, that's pretty much building my confidence and allowing me to get more prepared for the season."

Now, the regular season awaits. After lining up next to All-Pro De'Vondre Campbell with the No. 1 defense throughout camp, Walker is excited for what the 2022 season has in store.

"That's the main thing to try to keep going, build conditioning because there's longer drives in the NFL," Walker said. "Just trying to get ready for that as much as I can and get better each and every day and stack days."

Heflin's big stop: Second-year defensive lineman Jack Heflin knew he had to split the gap to make the play with Kansas City facing fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 24 with 4:40 left in the third quarter.

He just wasn't sure which interior offensive lineman was coming his way.

But when the center went right and the left guard went left, the O-line parted and a free path to Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco emerged.

"They both went the opposite way," Heflin said. "The only thing that went through my head was don't miss this layup."

The 6-foot-3, 304-pound defensive lineman didn't. He drilled Pacheco for the two-yard tackle for a loss and forced turnover on downs.

On Thursday night, Heflin did what Heflin has done for the past year and make the plays that are available to him. He not only tied for the team lead in tackles with five but also forced a fumble of Tayon Fleet-Davis in the fourth quarter.

Kansas City recovered but lost 11 yards on the play. The Chiefs punted one play later.

Heflin, who was the lone undrafted rookie to make the Packers' initial 53-man roster last year, found himself competing for a spot on a stacked Green Bay defensive line this summer.

With final cuts looming Tuesday, Heflin is proud of what he put on film this August.

"I feel like I did a good job this camp and this preseason," Heflin said. "Of course, there's always stuff as a competitor you want back. … I feel like I put together a solid preseason, tried to state my case. I want to be here in Green Bay and help this team get to the final stage and hoist the Lombardi."

Spin cycle: Packers rookie running back Tyler Goodson had a highlight reel moment when he pulled off a spin move at the goal line to complete his 24-yard touchdown run that put the Packers on the board in the second quarter.

Running behind a good seal block by right guard Jake Hanson, Goodson found an opening behind center Josh Myers at the second level to put him in position to beat one defender in pursuit of the end zone.

It capped an 11-play, 83-yard scoring drive.

"O-line did a good job today. Guys allowed me to have an open lane to run through," said Goodson, who finished with 54 yards on 12 touches. "Once I got through the lane, Josh Myers got to the second level. He made an outstanding block and I cut off him. All I had to do was make one guy miss and I was into the end zone."

With Kylin Hill being placed on the regular-season physically unable to perform list, Goodson is competing with Patrick Taylor and Dexter Williams for the No. 3 running back job.

"I'm glad I'm in this position to be able to compete. I love to compete," Goodson said. "Just going through these past three games, I learned a lot about myself, what are my strengths, what do I need to work on, and I'm going to continue to improve on those things and hopefully they decide to keep me here. I want to be here."

Toure leads the way: Samori Toure would've rather left Arrowhead Stadium with the victory but the rookie seventh-round pick was a four-quarter force against the Chiefs.

Toure caught a game-high six passes for a game-best 83 yards and was responsible for Green Bay's two longest receptions (of 22 and 23 yards) on Thursday night.

"We just wanted to come in there and make plays when the ball comes our way. That's what I tried to do," Toure said. "I feel like the game's been slowing down a little bit. I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunities."

A hotly contested receiver competition was one of the biggest storylines throughout training camp, with Toure and fellow rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs joining the fray this summer.

"I feel like every receiver in the room got better as camp went," said second-year receiver Amari Rodgers, who had seven touches for 56 yards vs. Kansas City. "You started see guys like Samori making plays tonight. He's a young guy that has made huge strides from OTAs all the way until now."

See scenes from the Thursday night matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Aug. 25, 2022.

Making a case: Rookie Jack Coco went from a tryout player at the Packers' rookie minicamp in May to finishing the preseason as the lone long snapper on the roster.

After extensive work with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and assistant Byron Storer, Coco is hoping the resume he's built this summer will be enough to make Green Bay's 53.

Either way, the former Georgia Tech walk-on has been one of the best stories of camp. Prior to coming to Green Bay, Coco hadn't snapped on punts since high school.

Coco had a clean outing against the Chiefs, whether it was his snap on Ramiz Ahmed's 23-yard field goal or veteran Pat O'Donnell's six punts that averaged 56.3 yards.

"All I know is that I put my resume in and I feel like I worked my (butt) off and did everything I possibly could," Coco said. "I feel like I've done a really good job and I've developed well enough. I'm excited to find out Tuesday. One thing happens, great. If the other thing happens, it is what it is. But I'm excited for the opportunity no matter what it is."

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