What to watch in Thursday's six preseason games

After more than two weeks of training camp, the preseason is ready to start in full Thursday night. Our six-pack of games includes some of the quarterbacks we are most interested to see this month: Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel and Jimmy Garoppolo. Here's what we'll be watching for:

Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (7:30 ET, NFLN)

  1. Tom Brady is expected to sit out, giving Garoppolo a chance to get plenty of snaps. Garoppolo's camp performance has been spotty by all accounts and he'll be playing behind a patchwork offensive line expected to be missing all of last year's starters on Thursday night.
  1. The cornerback battle opposite Malcolm Butler is wide open and worth watching. Logan Ryan, Bradley Fletcher, and Tarell Brown are all in the mix. It's not a great sign when Butler is the most trustworthy guy at the position.
  1. We won't see much of Aaron Rodgers, but we are looking forward to watching Packers rookie receiver Ty Montgomery, who has opened eyes throughout camp. Montgomery could threaten Davante Adams' snaps.

New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens (7:30 ET)

  1. With first-round receiver Breshad Perriman expected to be out, the Ravens will be paying attention to who steps up out of their receiver group. Kamar Aiken is ahead of guys like Marlon Brown, Jeremy Butler, and Michael Campanaro.
  1. The Saints' receiver spots are pretty wide open after Brandin Cooks. Brandon Coleman and Nick Toon are vying for snaps behind a diminished Marques Colston.
  1. Saints running back C.J. Spiller is not expected to play. Journeyman Tim Hightower reportedly has a chance to make the team, which would be an upset.

Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns (8 ET)

  1. This is the most interesting game of the night. We've heard a lot of positive reports about Griffin's progress in year two under coach Jay Gruden. While we can only learn so much in the preseason, he'll want to keep his momentum going.
  1. It's a much bigger game for Manziel. He could wind up playing half the game. This is his regular season. If he plays well enough, the Browns will be confident enough to play him in November.
  1. Isaiah Crowell is the leader in the clubhouse for the Browns' starting running back job, although coaches haven't always been thrilled with his effort.

Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears (8 ET)

  1. Damien Williams is the favorite for the backup running back job in Miami. Rookie Jay Ajayi has had a poor camp and is No. 4 on the depth chart. A good preseason game would help him immensely.
  1. It will be our first chance to see Bears pass rushers Jared Allen essentially playing out of position at outside linebacker. Lamarr Houston and Willie Young will not play.
  1. With Kevin White (shin) out for the Bears, Marquess Wilson will try to show he's worthy of a starting job.

New York Jets at Detroit Lions (8 ET)

  1. Lions second year tight end Eric Ebron has enjoyed a strong camp. It would be great to see him back it up in the preseason.
  1. We'll also be watching running back Ameer Abdullah's debut. He has a real chance to be Detroit's Week 1 starter.
  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick probably won't play a ton for the Jets. We're more interested in the team's depth at running back, where Zac Stacy is trying to make a case for a spot on the team.

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers (10 ET, NFLN)

  1. With Joseph Randle expected to sit out the game, the Cowboys will roll with undrafted free agent Gus Johnson as their starting running back. He has a real chance to make the team and possibly make Darren McFadden expendable.
  1. Dez Bryant is probably out for the Cowboys. But we'll be watching their new pass rush closely. Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory should be in the mix.
  1. This should be Melvin Gordon's NFL debut. We doubt the Chargers will use the first-round running back much.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down what Geno Smith's injury means for the Jets and recaps the first Hard Knocks episode in Houston.

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