If John Kuhn is out on Sunday when the Packers play the Bengals, it sounds like tight end Andrew Quarless could spend some time in the Packers backfield as a fullback.
Quarless at fullback could very well be a disaster, but it intrigues me.
Back when D.J. Williams was on the team, I always thought he looked better when he lined up as a fullback than he did at tight end. I wonder if I might feel the same about Quarless after Sunday.
Quarless at fullback could give the Packers more options for pre-snap motion or other funky formations. Quarless also might operate better in space than Kuhn if Aaron Rodgers finds him on a dumpoff pass.
Of course, Quarless’s main responsibility will be pass blocking. Can Quarless be trusted to read defenses and identify blitzers like Kuhn can? If he can’t, the Quarless at fullback experiment will end quickly.
If he can pass block, Quarless would provide more versatility on third downs than Kuhn can as the backfield pass blocker. Then again, maybe Mike McCarthy won’t even put him in high-pressure pass-blocking situations.
Can Quarless clear a path for James Starks in the running game? He lined up at fullback after Kuhn got hurt against the Redskins and made a key block that sprung Starks for a 32-yard touchdown. He certainly looked capable on that play.
Sunday’s game probably won’t hinge on Quarless’s play at fullback, but when you’re trying to beat a tough opponent on the road, little things matter. One missed blitz pickup can alter the course of a game. One key block that seals the edge on a sweep can lead to a late-game first down that brings you one step closer to a win.
Quarless as a fullback will be interesting to watch.