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GREEN BAY, WI — The Green Bay Packers will take their talents to Canada this Thursday for a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.

Thursday’s game marks the third time in team history the Packers have played outside the U.S. during the preseason. In 1997, the Packers defeated the Buffalo Bills 35-3 in a game played in Toronto. A year later in 1998, the Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime in Tokyo, Japan.

Thursday’s game will be played at 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time at IG stadium in Winnipeg. The stadium is home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. It’s an 11-hour drive from Green Bay, just in case you’re wondering.

What most people will be wondering, is whether Head Coach Matt LaFleur will send star quarterback Aaron Rodgers out onto the field against the Raiders. It would mark his first on-field play in what has otherwise been a nondescript 2019 preseason for the Packers.

Yet while Green Bay General Manager Brian Gutekunst said the plan is to play Rodgers for at least a little, LaFleur is not so sure.

“The practices are so much more important than the pre-season,” LaFleur said in a CBC report this week. “The looks that we see on a day like today are invaluable reps. It’s an attacking defense, it’s different fronts, it’s different pressures. Oakland does some different things over the last couple pre-seasons that stress you at times protection-wise, so it’s not as vanilla as you might see in the preseason.”

Rodgers was expected to play last week against the Baltimore Ravens, but was scratched at the last minute with back tightness, the team said. Rodgers resumed practice the following week and is said to be working in earnest to harness the team’s offense under first-year coach in LaFleur.

How to Watch

Packers vs. Raiders
Thursday, Aug. 22
7 p.m. CDT
Radio: AM 620 WTMJ

5 Things To Watch

1. Aaron Rodgers

The team said his back tightened up prior to last week’s game against Baltimore and did not play. If he doesn’t play this week, he will likely not see game play until week one against Chicago.

2. Aaron Jones

Running back Aaron Jones – the team’s top-rated rusher – will be back on the field and is expected to make his 2019 debut this Thursday night.

3. The Defense

Playing a hodgepodge of starters and second and third-stringers, the Packers defense surrendered 171 yards on 37 Baltimore rushing attempts. That’s 4.6 yards per carry, and that’s too many. Will Green Bay show any new facets to their defense in the preseason?

4. Allen Lazard

The 6-foot-5 wide receiver out of Iowa State has looked impressive in the 2019 preseason and is fighting for a roster spot. Last week, Lazard caught three passes for 63 yards, and drew the praise of Aaron Rodgers. “He’s made a bunch of plays. He’s always showing up on special teams. He does things the right way at practice,” Rodgers said in a PackersWire report. “He’s put himself into a position to be playing for all 32 teams.”

5. Rashan Gary

We don’t like picking on the same player each week, however as the team’s first-round pick of the 2019 NFL draft, we are curious what to expect this week from their outside linebacker. He didn’t register so much as a sack or tackle last week, so we want to see how he does this time around

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