The Green Bay Packers, among every other NFL team face a strict deadline quickly approaching this weekend, a deadline that will force the Packers to sever ties with approximately 13 players.
The first round of NFL cuts are required to be processed by Tuesday, Sept. 1 as teams and players form their 75-man roster. This deadline is the first round of cuts before the team forms its final 53-man roster on Sept. 5. The physically unable to perform list as well as assignments for the practice squad conclusively follow.
For some, today’s private Packers practice may be their last, as the team will likely begin processing cuts at the conclusion of tomorrow’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. While for others, they may get a chance to fight another day for the 53-man roster. Here are a few players that may miss out on the 75-man roster come Tuesday.
John Crockett, RB
The Green Bay Packer’s running back depth has greatly improved in recent years, most notably with Eddie Lacey emerging as a star, and James Stark providing valuable minutes as a backup. Unfortunately, Crockett didn’t hear his name on draft day after a prosperous career at North Dakota State and was later given a chance with the Packers as an undrafted free agent. Crockett is buried on a depth chart of running backs, and has seen minimal carries in preseason contests to date. Unless Crockett quickly impresses the Packer’s coaching staff on Saturday, he will likely miss the 75-man roster.
Preseason stats: 12 carries, 32 yards, 0 touchdowns.
Andy Phillips, C/G
It is very unlikely many teams in the NFL will carry more than two centers on their 53-man active roster. In the current situation, the Packers are currently carrying four. The Packers had a vast amount of trouble last year at the center position due to an injury to starting center Corey Linsley. Phillips hasn’t seen much playing time as a rookie center out of Central Michigan, and has merely played throughout the preseason. Phillips currently sits fourth on the depth chart, and likely won’t make it past the 75-man roster.
Matt Blanchard, QB
The Packers have an intriguing situation at the quarterback position entering Saturday’s preseason game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will likely see minimal/no playing time due to safety concerns, and backup Scott Tolzien won’t play at all due to a concussion suffered in last week’s preseason game. After that, the Packers have young quarterbacks Matt Blanchard and Brett Hundley rounding out the quarterback position heading into Saturday’s game. Now, the real question remains, how many quarterbacks will the Packers carry onto their 53-man roster. With the reliability of Rodgers, and the splendid play of Tolzien, many say two. However, with two prosperous players in Blanchard and Hundley, one may make the final 53. Although the Packers may want to carry the four quarterbacks into the 75-man roster, they may cut ties with the undrafted second-year quarterback out of UW-Whitewater before Tuesday’s deadline.
Preseason stats: 3/5 passing, 20 yards, 0 touchdowns
James Butler, Ed Williams, Jimmie Hunt, WR
One of the biggest Packer’s position battles throughout the preseason got a lot more interesting this past week following the injury to Jordy Nelson, who tore his ACL in last week’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In ways, the injury opened up an avenue for players who were on the brink of being cut. However, the Packers are currently carrying 11 wide receivers (without Nelson), and likely won’t bring more than five onto the 53-man roster. In this case, several undrafted rookies likely won’t make the 75-man roster, due to lack of experience and playing time in such a crowded depth chart. James Butler was recently signed following Nelson’s injury, but will have limited time to make an impression on the coaching staff before Tuesday’s deadline. Meanwhile rookies Ed Williams and Jimmie Hunt simply do not flaunt enough of a skill set to make the 75-man roster, but could be signed to the practice squad in reservation for the future.
Preseason stats: Ed Williams: 1 reception, 5 yards, 0 touchdowns
Harold Spears, Mitchell Henry, TE
The current tight end situation for the Green Bay Packers may seem a little foggy at the moment, but there are clear contenders for the starting job, and Harold Spears and Mitchell Henry are not on that list. Both players are undrafted rookies this season, and have seen minimal amounts of playing time, due to the contention for the starting tight end position. Among the two, Spears has seen playing time as he brought in a pass last week against the Steelers. However, rookie tight end Kennard Backman seemingly has the upper hand on the depth chart, as he has seen a vast amount of playing time in comparison to these two tight ends. Backman will likely make the 75-man roster, but may have to contend for the field of 53.
Preseason stats: Harold Spears: 1 reception, 6 yards, 0 touchdowns
Kyle Sebatic, Ryan White, Jean Fanor, CB/S
The Packers secondary has seen great turnover over the offseason, turnover that delivers great potential, most of which is coming from several rookies. Several players like Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, and Ladarius Gunter are simply out-performing players who were also in this position last season, Kyle Sabbatic, Ryan White, and Jean Fanor. This round of cuts could favor the rookies more than these second year players, as the Green Bay secondary is transitioning from veterans to young potential. Among these three players, all have a bleak chance at making the final roster, as they are currently behind on the depth chart. Watch for some of these names to be placed on the practice squad.
Wild Card picks: Bruce Gaston, Justin Perillo, Myles White, Vince Kowalski, Garth Gerhart, Carl Bradford
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