By GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Approaching the goal line near the end of a 13-yard run, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley lowered his right shoulder into a defender and bounced across the goal line for a touchdown.
If he had to do it all over again, the right-handed Hundley might have avoided contact. But adrenaline took over on what might well be his final first-quarter snap all season.
Hundley, the backup to Aaron Rodgers, also threw for a score to lead the Packers to a 24-10 win Thursday night over the Los Angeles Rams in the preseason finale.
“I did give it second thought,” Hundley said with a chuckle about his touchdown run. “But when you’re that close to the goal line, I just wanted to get in. I didn’t care how I was going to do it, I just dove.”
The Packers (3-1) look set at quarterback with Hundley backing up two-time NFL MVP Rodgers. The defense had its moments, too, albeit against a Rams offense that started third-stringer Dan Orlovsky at quarterback.
Both teams played mostly backups for most of the night. But the Packers’ defense will surely get a shot of confidence after forcing two first-half turnovers to set up scores.
Green Bay also got what could be its starting cornerback group on the field for the first time in a preseason game. Davon House returned from a hamstring injury, joining Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins on the first series.
“Defense, hey, I thought they played very well throughout the evening,” coach Mike McCarthy said.
The defense for the Rams (2-2) remains a work in progress, especially up front with All-Pro Aaron Donald holding out and Dominique Easley out for the year with a knee injury.
But coach Sean McVay said he was optimistic Donald would report this week. The Rams open the season at home on Sept. 10 against the Indianapolis Colts.
“We know that there’s progress to be made,” McVay said, “but optimistic about the direction that we’re going in and the level of urgency that I think both sides have to try to get Aaron a part of this, so that we can have him playing against the Colts.”
End Ethan Westbrooks did provide a bright spot with a sack in the first quarter after the Rams blitzed what has been a suspect second-string offensive line. With Easley sidelined, Westbrooks figures to start in coordinator Wade Phillips’ new 3-4 scheme.
“Anytime you’re on the field, you’re auditioning for a job. So I just try to, anytime I touch the field, get out there and give it everything I’ve got,” Westbrooks said.
Hundley frustrated the Rams anyway two plays later after sidestepping out of the pocket to his right on third-and-goal from the 13, then scrambling for his touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
The Rams struggled on offense with starting quarterback Jared Goff and top backup Sean Mannion sitting out, along with lead running back Todd Gurley. Orlovsky finished 16 of 30 for 149 yards and an 18-yard touchdown to Johnny Mundt in the fourth quarter.
RUNNING IT OUT
Rams: Justin Davis played most of the game for the Rams, rushing for 55 yards on 17 carries. With Lance Dunbar out with a knee injury, Davis appears to be in line for the third-string running back job behind Gurley and Malcolm Brown.
Packers: Starting RB Ty Montgomery was one of 28 players who sat out for Green Bay, though McCarthy committed to the run in the second half. The Packers took three running backs in the draft this year, and Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays each had their moments. Green Bay rushed for 105 yards on 23 carries in the second half.
Taysom Hill, in a competition for the Packers’ third-string quarterback spot with Joe Callahan, led an impressive nine-play, 58-yard scoring drive capped by a 25-yard pass to Aaron Peck early in the fourth quarter for a 24-3 lead. Hill finished 4 of 4 for 31 yards and flashed his mobility with 19 yards on two carries.
Callahan followed Hill in the fourth quarter, going 2 of 2 for 9 yards.
Packers receiver Geronimo Allison and Rams safety Isaiah Johnson both left with 56 seconds left in the second quarter after a hard collision on Allison’s 10-yard reception to the Rams 1. Allison got up but went to the locker room anyway, and the team said he had a concussion. Johnson stayed down on the field for about a minute in the end zone, then walked back to the locker room with an undisclosed injury.
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By GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer