GREEN BAY - Packers safety Morgan Burnett will sit out Thursday's preseason game against Kansas City due to a hamstring injury suffered against Seattle. That means extra chances for Burnett's understudies both in practice and at Arrowhead Stadium as they attempt to make the roster.
They know this is the last shot to leave a lasting impression on Ted Thompson and company. David Fulton explained his mindset for the week. "Just go out there and make plays and let them make their decisions. Hopefully I'm going to go out there and do my best and make it be a hard decision."
Chaz Powell added, "You know we got a great opportunity back there in the secondary you know. Coach was telling us that me, David and Banjo are going to get most of the reps. Just treat it like any game, compete, be on your keys and just make plays."
"My mind set from day one was whether I get 1 play or 100 plays my effort and my everything was going to be the same how I approach it," Chris Banjo said. "It's definitely going to be more opportunity and the game will be bigger but I just have to approach it the same."
Coach McCarthy has repeatedly sung Banjo's praises. The SMU product made 5 tackles against Seattle on Friday. "I tell you what. Chris Banjo has been making plays since he arrived. To arrive when he did. Special teams, his defensive snaps. I've been very pleased with what he's shown so far. This will be a big game for all the young guys and especially for Chris," Coach McCarthy said.
Banjo feels like he's made strides in camp but at a position where communication is paramount he feels like there still room to improve.
"Just speaking on the field. Our defense has a lot of terminology and a lot of adjustments and checks that need to be made," Banjo said. "I feel like I'm picking that up day by day still not as fast as I'd like to be but I'm getting more comfortable with it.
The Packers are unlikely to keep more than one player on the active roster from the group of Banjo, Powell, and Fulton. The release of six players Sunday morning has the players well aware of the business at hand.
"I know they're starting to make cuts and narrow everything down," Fulton said. "I'm just going to watch a lot of film and pick things up from the veterans like I've been doing since OTA's and just go out there and play football, no pressure."
While Fulton is getting his first opportunity in an NFL camp both Powell and Banjo know the sting of being released by a team, having both been released by teams last season.
If you start looking into who's getting cut here you'll start thinking about maybe I'll get cut. You start losing focus about why you play this game," Powell said. "For me I'm just going to do what I'm supposed to do, play safety play special teams, contribute and if it's not here than hopefully somewhere else."
Banjo has a similar mindset. He said he's approaching cut down week differently this year. "I just don't look at the big picture. I did that all of last year and all that stress was enough to kill me and it didn't change anything so once I realized that I just tried to put my head down and do my work. I leave it up to God and leave that up to the decision makers but I've got to do my part and come ready," Banjo said.
Powell reiterated the seriousness of Thursday's game against the Chiefs for he and his compatriots. " I'm going to take this last preseason game as the last game for me in the NFL. I"m just going to go out there and do what I'm supposed to do and compete," Powell said.
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