In a somewhat expected move, the Green Bay Packers activated defensive end Mike Neal from reserved/suspended status Saturday and released defensive end Phillip Merling.
Packers activated DE Mike Neal from exempt status and released DE Phillip Merling: pckrs.com/e2m4
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 6, 2012
Neal served a four-game suspension to start the 2012 season after violating the league's policy for performance-enhancing substances. The substance was Adderall, and Neal had a legal prescription for the drug, but he didn't formally apply for an exemption from the league.
The Packers staff, who had until Monday to make a decision on Neal's roster status, likely want Neal as part of the active 46-man roster Sunday in Indianapolis.
GM Ted Thompson had the option of waiting until Monday before making a roster move, as the NFL granted the Packers a one-week roster exemption to make a decision. Thompson made the move now.
Neal practiced without limitation all week. He is from Indiana and went to school at nearby Purdue University.
Merling, signed as a free agent in August, was active for three games and recorded two tackles.