If you’re like me, you’re probably attempting to make a 53-man roster prediction for the Green Bay Packers.
You’re probably trying to decide whether the Packers will keep four or five running backs, five or six wide receivers or any number of combinations as the cutdown time looms at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday Aug. 31.
When it comes down to that final roster spot and you’re deciding between two players, don’t wrack your brain too hard, because it’s possible both players could be on the Packers roster by the time the regular season opens against the San Francisco 49ers.
On Tuesday Sept. 3, teams are allowed to place one player on injured reserve as designated to return, after which they cannot practice for six weeks and cannot play for eight weeks.
You might remember the Packers designating running back Cedric Benson for return last season, even though he was eventually shut down for the season.
The Packers have been mum on two players who suffered hamstring injuries in the third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks back on Aug. 23: safety Morgan Burnett and cornerback Casey Hayward.
Linebacker Brad Jones also suffered a hamstring injury against the Seahawks, but his injury wouldn’t appear to be quite as severe after it took head coach Mike McCarthy an extra day to rule Jones out for the Chiefs game and he was observed participating in at least the walk-through portion of practice last week.
As of this moment, this is all speculation. Nothing official has come from the Packers organization. But neither Burnett nor Hayward has practiced since the Seahawks game and their status is still undetermined for Week 1 when the Packers travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers.
The possibility exists that both players will be ready in time for the start of the regular season, but depending on the severity of their injuries, there’s a chance they may miss some time too.
For Hayward, his injury was a setback dating back to before training camp when he pulled a hamstring training on his own. He took part in only three practices all summer before being shut down once again.
Whether or not Hayward or Burnett are placed on short-term injured reserve or some other player suffers an injury down the line, the point is that a roster spot will be opened for another player as soon as this upcoming Tuesday.
As I attempt to make a 53-man roster prediction, I’m considering players like wide receiver Tyrone Walker, defensive lineman Josh Boyd and outside linebacker Nate Palmer as a few of the players on the outside looking in.
But it may not be long and one of them will be called up to the big leagues as soon Tuesday.