KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Packers coach Mike McCarthy got everything he wanted out of the preseason.
Two series for Aaron Rodgers and a bunch of work for his backups.
That includes rookie Joe Callahan, who capped a strong preseason by throwing for 143 yards and a touchdown as the Packers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 17-7 in their preseason finale Thursday night.
“I thought it was a quality training camp. I thought like we accomplished a lot,” said McCarthy, who like Chiefs counterpart Andy Reid played almost entirely backups on Thursday night.
Callahan played almost the entire way in a game featuring second- and third-teamers on both sides. The product of Division III Wesley College has been trying to earn the No. 3 job behind Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley, who has been sidelined by an ankle injury this preseason.
“You try not to think about things too much,” Callahan said of making the team. “When it’s out of your hands it’s always hard. But I’ve been confident since I’ve been here.”
In fact, the only first-stringers to see much of the field were specialists.
They needed some practice, too.
After the Chiefs’ third straight three-and-out in the first quarter, Dustin Colquitt’s punt was blocked by Green Bay wide receiver Ty Montgomery. The Packers only needed two plays for Callahan to hit tight end Jared Cook for the game’s opening touchdown.
The game also featured the debut of Green Bay punter Jacob Schum, who was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay this week. Schum replaced veteran punter Tim Masthay in a surprising roster move.
“The coaches didn’t want to fill my head too much,” Schum said. “But we’re professionals and we’re kind of expected to know how to do things.”
Kansas City running back Knile Davis, who could be traded by the weekend, ran 15 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. The former third-round draft pick also caught a pass out of the backfield.
Darrin Reaves also had 63 yards rushing and a touchdown for Kansas City.
“I just wanted to have a clean game, you know? Do everything right,” Davis said. “I wanted to hit my holes, catch a couple of balls, and just fine tune.”
BERRY SITS OUT
As expected, Chiefs SS Eric Berry sat out the preseason finale. Berry signed his franchise tender last weekend and finally reported to training camp, but only practiced a couple of days. Reid said he expects Berry to be ready for the regular season.
Packers: SS Marwin Evans had six tackles for Green Bay before getting shaken up on special teams. RB Brandon Burks had 31 yards rushing on 12 carries in the contest.
Chiefs: SS Eric Murray had a pair of tackles as he tries to win a backup job. WR Tyreek Hill was targeted four times without a reception, dropping one pass that would have been a first down.
Packers: The wide receiver depth after Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb remains in flux. Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and Jared Abbrederis are in the mix. Abbrederis had two catches for 49 yards Thursday night, while Adams caught two passes for 20 yards.
Chiefs: LBs Ramik Wilson and Justin March are competing for Kansas City’s inside linebacker spot alongside Derrick Johnson following a season-ending injury to Josh Mauga. Wilson had a nice tackle for loss early in the game and appeared to have the inside track.
Packers: Rookie WR Trevor Davis left the game with a shoulder injury after making a nice catch along the sideline on the first series of the game. Geronimo Allison replaced him on the next possession
Chiefs: The Chiefs rested RB Jamaal Charles and LB Tamba Hali, just as they did their first three preseason games. Both are coming off knee surgery but are expected to play in the season opener.
PED ISSUE IN PAST
The Packers’ Julius Peppers said after the game he was happy to be cleared by the NFL this week in a performance-enhancing drug probe. The league found there was no evidence Peppers, teammate Clay Matthews and Steelers linebacker James Harrison were provided with or used prohibited drugs, allegations that were raised in an Al Jazeera America documentary.