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Packers vs. Steelers: Performances to watch

Potential preseason debuts on tap in second game


GREEN BAY – The Packers make their second and last preseason appearance at Lambeau Field until the regular-season opener on Sept. 9.

Here's what to watch for against the Steelers.

1. Possible QB1 sighting: There's no guarantee QB Aaron Rodgers will play, but Head Coach Mike McCarthy is aiming to get him some snaps. The availability of LT David Bakhtiari and possibly RT Bryan Bulaga could factor into the decision as well. If Rodgers does play, it probably won't be for long.

2. Other potential preseason debuts: New TE Jimmy Graham could get some work with Rodgers, to follow up on some impressive plays on the practice field this week. Rookie CB Jaire Alexander could also make his Packers debut, and if he acquits himself as well as fellow rookie CB Josh Jackson did last week, that'll be a good sign for the defense. Second-year RB Aaron Jones returned from a hamstring injury this week and is in need of preseason snaps, with a two-game suspension to start the regular season looming.

3. Repeat outings: The young players who were the stars of last week's game – WRs Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow, who each had TD catches, and OLB Kendall Donnerson, who generated the defense's lone turnover with a forced fumble – are tasked with performing at a high level again. Consistency and reliability earn roster spots, not just quick flashes.

4. Special teams: McCarthy said after the first preseason game he felt the Packers established their play style on offense and defense, but on special teams they weren't aggressive enough, due to thinking too much. Look for the return and coverage players to do a little more flying around.

5. Backup rhythms: All three backup QBs were productive last week, and they'll look to get settled in once again. Their snaps might be more limited this week depending on how much Rodgers plays, so they'll need to find a rhythm right away to continue making positive impressions.