The green light given to Ahman Green to make his preseason debut on Monday night against Cincinnati is more like a yellow light.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday said Green will play no more than the first two series of the game at Cincinnati.
It will be Green’s first game action since rupturing a tendon in his thigh in the fifth game of last season, Oct. 23 at Minnesota. He has been practicing since Aug. 7.
“We’re going to be smart with him,” McCarthy said. “Probably a couple of series. We’ll see how it goes.”
Joining Green in their debut performances will be safety Marquand Manuel and strong-side linebacker Brady Poppinga. Manuel had been sidelined for most of training camp with a calf injury while Poppinga tore the anterior-cruciate ligament in his left knee in a December game against Detroit.
“We played the starters 18 to 20 plays that first (preseason) game, so that’s what we’re looking at,” McCarthy said when asked how much Manuel and Poppinga would play.
Another player making his debut will be weak-side linebacker Kurt Campbell. Not only will it be Campbell's preseason debut, but his Packers debut.
A seventh-round pick last year, Campbell tore the ACL in his right knee during the first week of his rookie-year camp and was out for the season. He was slowed during this camp by a hamstring injury suffered during the Family Night scrimmage.
Campbell, a small and athletic linebacker who played a hybrid defensive back-linebacker position at Albany, needs a big performance. He’s likely battling Roy Manning — who started two games as an undrafted free agent last year — and Tracy White — a solid special-teamer — for the final spot at linebacker.
Backfield in motion
Running back Najeh Davenport sat out practice with a hip flexor suffered during Tuesday’s practice.
With fullback William Henderson out after knee surgery, the Packers are scouring for depth at the position. On Wednesday, tight ends David Martin and Donald Lee took some snaps at fullback. Their pass-catching skills could come in handy. The new starter, Vonta Leach, who dropped a sure touchdown pass against Atlanta on Saturday night, dropped two passes on Wednesday in practice.
With the tight ends auditioning, running back Samkon Gado has been taken out of the fullback mix.
The Packers don’t have to reduce their roster to 75 until Aug. 29, but they trimmed the lineup by one player when they waived offensive tackle Todd Williams. A seventh-round pick out of Florida State by Tennessee in the 2003 draft, Williams was signed early in training camp as a street free agent.
The final roster cut to 53 players is Sept. 2.