For the first time since 2008, Aaron Rodgers’ first year as an NFL starter, the Green Bay Packers plan to go into the season with three quarterbacks on the roster.
Holdovers Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien survived the big roster cutdown to 53 players Saturday after both players had a competitive preseason competition as the backups to Rodgers.
Coach Mike McCarthy suggested after the Packers’ final preseason game Thursday night that Flynn and Tolzien were worthy of staying with the team.
“I think Matt and Scott have both championed the case to be on our football team,” McCarthy said. “I feel very good about their progress from last year through the spring all the way through training camp.”
The Packers went through four starting quarterbacks during a stretch of eight games late in the season in 2013. Tolzien and Flynn, a 2008 Green Bay draft pick who returned to the team in November, were among those who filled in while Rodgers missed seven games because of a collarbone injury.
With a healthy Rodgers on a limited playing schedule this preseason, Flynn and Tolzien had ample opportunities to contend for roster spots. Each of the backups matched Rodgers with three touchdown passes in the preseason.
Teams had until 3 p.m. Saturday to set their initial 53-man roster for the start of the season. Green Bay plays the league’s first game Thursday night at the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
Other notable moves from around the NFL on Saturday:
— Five-time Pro Bowl LB James Harrison announced his retirement, saying his desire to play doesn’t match the desire to stay home with his family.
— Rams DE Michael Sam, a seventh-round draft pick and the NFL’s first openly gay player, couldn’t make a team stacked with pass-rushers. He still has a chance to get picked up by another team or to make the Rams’ practice squad.
— Jets WR Stephen Hill, a 2012 second-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech who failed to follow in the footsteps of fellow alumni Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson. He finished the past two seasons in IR.
— Browns WR Nate Burleson, an 11-year veteran who was slowed by a hamstring injury in camp. The Browns are thin at wide receiver after Pro Bowler Josh Gordon was suspended for the entire 2014 season for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.
— Jets CB Dimitri Patterson, ending a bizarre week that began when he left the team before its preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 22, leading to a suspension.