Green Bay Packers

Green Bay’s Preseason Opener Is A Golden Opportunity For Tyler Goodson

Photo Credit: Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis. Gpg Packers Training Camp 08022022 0002

Look elsewhere on Friday night if your goal is to watch the Green Bay Packers star players compete against the San Francisco 49ers in the preseason opener. They’ll mostly be sitting on the sidelines. But with that comes plenty of opportunity for others on the roster trying to carve out a role.

Perhaps nobody will have a better opportunity to thrive in this situation than running back Tyler Goodson.

Green Bay scooped up the decorated former Iowa Hawkeye after he went undrafted this spring. Goodson was the premier back for the Hawkeyes in his last two years on campus, and it was somewhat of a surprise to see him go undrafted.

Head coach Matt LaFleur has already indicated that Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon won’t be playing in the exhibition opener. Kylin Hill, a seventh-round pick in 2021, is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season and won’t be in action. Patrick Taylor, who took over the No. 3 spot last year when Hill went down, is also currently dinged up.

Enter Goodson.

The RB3 spot was already intriguing for the Packers, with three candidates vying for the role. If Goodson shines on Friday night, he could easily take the early lead in the clubhouse for that third spot on the depth chart. It’s an afterthought to some. But remember that Dillon was injured early in the playoff loss against the San Francisco 49ers last season and missed most of the game. Jones missed two games in 2021 with an MCL injury.

It’s the third running back spot for now. But given LaFleur’s fascination with using two backs in his system, the third in line is just one play away from strapping on the helmet and getting action in the regular season. In an ideal world, the Packers will feed Jones and Dillon all year, both will continue to flourish, and everything will be rainbows and candy canes. But that’s not always how things go in the NFL. It puts even more emphasis on that third RB spot.

Realistically, the Packers will aim toward keeping three running backs once they trim down the final roster to 53. However, they previously went with four on the active roster under LaFleur. If that’s the case, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Goodson ends up on the outside looking in. Still, that’s not something Goodson or any of the backs aiming for the RB3 spot can bank on.

Another name to keep tabs on is Dexter Williams. Yes, that Dexter Williams.

The Packers signed Williams earlier this week. Green Bay initially drafted him in the sixth round in 2019, and he’s bounced around the league since. Whether or not he’ll have a real shot to earn the No. 3 spot is yet to be determined.

Green Bay may have scooped up Williams just to get another back in the rotation. Jones and Dillon are sitting out, and others are on the shelf with injuries. If that’s the case and Goodson becomes the bell cow on Friday, it’s a role he’s familiar with from his college days.

Goodson had at least 20 touches in all but three games last year. He finished the season with the Hawkeyes with 256 carries for 1,151 yards. If he had it his way, he’d be fed at least 20 times on Friday night. Goodson went for 100 total yards or more in seven games, and his growth as a pass-catcher bodes well for his chances to seal the No. 3 spot on the depth chart. The dominoes have fallen so fast that Goodson has a premier opportunity to prove his worth in the first preseason game.

Many fans will fixate on how Jordan Love looks entering his third year. Others will focus on rookie wideouts Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure. The depth on the edge is another question entering the season. But having an embarrassment of riches at running back is critical for Green Bay. Goodson will get the first chance to show the staff that he should be the undisputed choice for RB3.

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Photo Credit: Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis. Gpg Packers Training Camp 08022022 0002

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