CARLISLE, PA., AUG. 21 -- Different Washington Redskins have taken decidedly different approaches to their second preseason game Saturday at 2 p.m. against Green Bay at Madison, Wis.

As running back Kelvin Bryant, who has a strained right quadriceps, walked off the practice field at Dickinson College today amongst a group of teammates, he was asked if he would play in the game.

He simply shook his head no and kept on going.

On his heels came running back George Rogers, who has had a sprained left big toe. He was asked the same question, and he gave the same answer. He, too, shook his head no and disappeared into the locker room.

Moments later, rookie cornerback Brian Davis came trudging off the field with the rest of the defense. "Finally," he said, sighing with relief. "I finally get to play. I'm excited to finally get my feet wet before the real thing. That's what preseason's for."

Davis, the team's top draft choice, sat in the stands for the team's first preseason game with a strained right thigh. He will play third-string left cornerback against Green Bay, and likely will play a lot.

Not long after Davis went into the locker room, third-string quarterback Mark Rypien popped out, looking eager and earnest, as he always does.

Rypien, who spent his rookie year on injured reserve, will play Saturday after Jay Schroeder and Doug Williams take their turn, Coach Joe Gibbs said. Rypien also will continue to hold on extra points and field goals, although Schroeder still officially is the team's holder.

"Anyway I can help," Rypien said. "I'm just excited to do anything."

Was there ever any doubt preseason football was made for rookies and young players? This game between the Redskins (1-0) and Packers (0-1) at Camp Randall Stadium on the University of Wisconsin campus is almost meaningless, except for what it tells the teams' coaches about their overall status, and about their young players, three weeks before the regular season.

Davis, who has played to good, bad and mixed reviews during spring and summer practices, is the prototypical rookie now firmly in the preseason spotlight. The Redskins selected him 30th overall in the NFL draft out of Nebraska and have paid him handsomely -- about $1 million for four years -- to cover wide receivers and bat down passes. This will be the first time he has played in a professional game.

"Of course I'm going to be a little bit nervous," he said today. "But I'm excited, too. I think all the rookies are going to get quite a bit of playing time this week. Last week they didn't {get} as much because it was a home crowd and {the coaches} wanted to really win the game and do good. But this is going to be away and I think we're going to get to play a lot. Yeah, I'm excited."

Davis will play after starters Darrell Green and Tim Morrison and backups Barry Wilburn and Vernon Dean. He will be paired with right cornerback Johnny Thomas, the Redskins' seventh-round draft choice from Baylor.

Davis said training camp "started off really hard, but as it's gone along, rather than being the same old thing every day, it's not as hard as I thought it would be. I'm not as worn out as I thought I would be. I think I'm coming along well. I'm happy with it."

Davis is very fast and very inexperienced. "I still see that I make up a lot just with my running, as compared to other people whose techniques are so much sharper that they can save their legs," he said. "They don't have to get as tired and do all the running and be as intense as I do to make up for things."

He said his thigh is fine now, leaving him no excuses.

"I'll expect to do good before I'll expect to do bad," he said. "Corner's a rough spot, but rather than going out there being afraid of getting burned, I'd rather look forward to making the big play first. Either way, if it happens, I'll shake it off and the next play do it all over again, however it goes, good or bad."

Rypien, the team's sixth round draft choice from Washington State in 1986, is a well-kept secret outside of the Redskins' inner circle. He did participate a little bit last preseason. But he is the future reserve quarterback of the Redskins, even if he is just one year younger than Schroeder.

"You can't really think practices will get you anywhere," Rypien said. "I have to take advantage of my game situations. My main concern is to be as consistent as possible, to not force things, to not go for big plays."

But that's not always easy when the opportunities are so few.

The Packers, who lost to Denver last week, 20-14, are likely to start quarterback Randy Wright, who ended a contract holdout 1 1/2 weeks ago. When these teams met last November, Wright left the game with a concussion and spent the night in the hospital. The Packers' other quarterbacks are Chuck Fusina, David Woodley, Robbie Bosco and Don Majkowski, a 10th-round pick from Virginia.

The Packers are particularly interested in watching top draft choice Brent Fullwood, a running back from Auburn, who fumbled away a certain touchdown on the 2-yard line after a 98-yard kickoff return last week.

These Redskins, especially the rookies, never know how much they will play before a game. Rypien didn't know Gibbs had decided he was going to play until a reporter told him about it. Davis can only imagine what's in store for him Saturday.

"They didn't say, but I think I'll play a lot, and I think it'll be pretty early," he said. "It's time to see what rookies can play because they're going to have to make some decisions. I think all of us are going to get a chance to play quite a bit."