GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Statistics alone from the past month didn't sway the decision on whom to keep as Aaron Rodgers' understudy at quarterback.

If that were the case, Scott Tolzien would have been a slam-dunk keeper over Matt Flynn.

Given the value Flynn has provided the Packers -- as well as for Rodgers in a pinch -- in previous seasons, the team's decision-makers (namely, general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy) weren't ready to move on again without the seventh-year pro. Just the same, the promise displayed by Tolzien in a numerically superior preseason made it impossible for the bosses to set free the fourth-year player.

So, for the first time since 2008, Green Bay goes into this season with more than two quarterbacks on the roster.

The big cutdown Saturday to the initial 53-man roster didn't include the names of Flynn and Tolzien.

When asked Sunday, after the Packers held their first practice of the regular season as they get ready for the league-opening game at the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night, McCarthy gave a vague answer on why two backups were kept for Rodgers.

"The evaluation process is over with," said McCarthy, adding, "There's philosophical beliefs, there's opinions, you go through all of that, it's a long process. We like our team."

Go back less than 72 hours earlier, McCarthy was much more direct with his endorsement for Flynn and Tolzien. Both players efficiently ran the offense, with Rodgers given the night off, in the Packers' preseason-concluding 34-14 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.

"I think Matt and Scott have both championed the case to be on our football team," McCarthy said after the game. "I feel very good about their progress from last year through the spring all the way through training camp."

As holdovers from Green Bay's peculiar second half of last season, when it went through three replacement starters with Rodgers out for seven games because of a broken collarbone, Flynn and Tolzien are better equipped to step in should another emergency arise.

Tolzien, previously cast aside by San Diego and San Francisco, had a significant summer after some shaky play in his relief stint last fall. He produced a lofty passer rating of 112.0 -- right up there with the 116.6 attained by a sharp Rodgers -- on the strength of completing 67.9 percent of his passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in the four preseason games.

Flynn was the weak link of the trio this August. However, the 29-year-old salvaged his preseason -- and possibly his roster spot -- in Thursday's finale by matching Tolzien with two touchdown passes. Flynn had an 82.3 rating in the exhibition games, as he completed only 47.4 percent of his throws for 232 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

Despite the upper hand that went to Tolzien in the preseason, McCarthy indicated Sunday that Flynn is the No. 2 quarterback heading into the season.

"He's taken the number two reps so far this week; he took them (Sunday)," McCarthy said.

The Packers pared their preseason roster by 22 players Saturday to get to the 53-player limit. They waived 20 players and placed two on injured reserve.

The notable cuts were safety Chris Banjo and wide receivers Myles White and Kevin Dorsey.

Banjo played every game and made one start last season for the Packers as an undrafted rookie. White also saw game action as an undrafted rookie with the team in 2013. Dorsey, a seventh-round draft pick by Green Bay, missed his entire rookie season last year with a toe injury.

"It was clearly one of our best (training) camps, if not the best camp," McCarthy said. "So, a number of players really deserved the opportunity to be on the 53, and obviously you can only keep 53."

The Packers kept five receivers, including rookies Davante Adams and Jeff Janis. The speedy Janis, a seventh-round pick who missed the first part of the preseason with shingles, looks to be the best candidate to return punts at the outset of the season.

Green Bay held onto just four safeties with projected starters Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde, along with top rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Sean Richardson.

Tight end Jake Stoneburner and offensive tackle Aaron Adams were waived/injured. Stoneburner appeared in nine games with Green Bay as an undrafted rookie last season.

Defensive tackle Khyri Thornton and linebacker Nate Palmer went on the injured-reserve list.

Thornton, a third-round draft pick this year, reportedly suffered a torn hamstring in Thursday's game. Palmer, a sixth-round pick last year who played eight games, sustained a knee injury in the same game.

Two undrafted rookies -- linebacker Jayrone Elliott and defensive tackle Mike Pennel -- made Green Bay's roster. Elliott had a league-high five sacks in the preseason.

Then, half of the guys the Packers released the previous day made their way back onto the team, filling out the newly expanded practice squad of 10 players Sunday.