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Trimming the Packers Roster to 53 Players Could Become 54 in Short Order

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Trimming the Packers Roster to 53 Players Could Become 54 in Short Order

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.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (18) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

Ugh...if either Burnett or Hayward go on the IR-to-return list....I don't even know...

(Speaking of, can we please come up with a better name for the "Injured Reserve with Designation to Return"? Maybe even IRDR.)

Mojo's picture

I think some refer to it as the "short-term IR" rule.

The Packers need to be sure the short-term IR is used wisely. I believe you don't "use it or lose it" until around the eighth game of the year since the player needs to sit out a minimum of eight games anyway. After that you're talking about postseason games which you might not be playing in anyway.

Now Hayward and Burnett would be two good players to apply it to if need be. Else try to hold on to in case a frontline guy has a nonseason ending injury in the first half of the year.

denniseckersley's picture

....I'll club a baby seal

Brooklyn81's picture

Charles Johnson

Evan's picture

I think the primary prerequisite of the IR to return is actually being injured.

RC Packer Fan's picture

they can find an injury to work. :) Teams do it all the time...

RC Packer Fan's picture

This is my post game prediction.

QB(2): Rodgers, Young
RB(5): Lacy, Green, Franklin, Starks, Kuhn
TE(4): Finley, Mulligan, Bostick, Quarless
WR(6): Jones, Nelson, Cobb, Boykin, Ross, Johnson
OL(7): Bahktiari, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, GVR
DL(6): Raji, Pickett, Wilson, Jones, Jolly, Daniels
ILB(6): Hawk, Jones, François, Barrington, Manning,Lattimore
OLB(4): Mathews, Perry, Neal, Mulumba
CB(5): Williams, Shields, Hayward, House, Hyde
S(4): Burnett, McMillan, Jennings, Banjo
ST(4): Masthay, Crosby, Goode, Bush (I put bush here to say he is a special teams player first and backup CB/S second).

The biggest differences I made to this was moving Neal to OLB, replacing Palmer with Lattimore.

Even though Johnson didn't make a big impact I think they will keep him in fear of losing him to another team, and the fact that Nelson and Cobb have been injured this preseason.

Right now for Practice Squad I'm thinking, Coleman, Amosa, White or Walker, Pat Lewis, OT-TBD, Boyd or Miller (which one IF they clears waivers), Palmer, and Means or Smith or Nixon.

L's picture


QB(2): Rodgers, Young

RB(5): Lacy, Green, Franklin, Starks, Kuhn

TE(4): Finley, Quarless, Mulligan, Bostick

WR(5): Jones, Nelson, Cobb, (Finley), Boykin, Ross, (Bostick)

OL(8): T - Bahktiari, Barclay, Newhouse G - Sitton, Lang, GVR, (Barclay) C - EDS, (GVR), Lewis or someone from another team - DJ.Williams trade?

DL(7): Raji, Pickett, Wilson, D.Jones, Jolly, Daniels, Boyd, (Neal)

LB(9): ILB - Hawk, Jones, François, Manning, Lattimore OLB - Mathews, Perry, Neal, Mulumba, (Lattimore)

DB(10): CB - Williams, Shields, Hayward, House, Hyde, Bush S - Burnett, McMillan, Jennings, Banjo, (Bush)

ST(3): P - Masthay K - Crosby LS - Goode KR - (Ross), (Green), (Franklin), (Hyde) PR - (Hyde), (Ross)

The toughest decision will probably revolve around the 8th Offensive Lineman or whether or not to keep Palmer or Barrington on the 53.

RC Packer Fan's picture

looks like ours are pretty much the same. I have 1 extra WR where you have 1 extra OL. I would prefer 8 OL I just don't see anyone who is worth keeping on it right now, that can't be put on the PS. Unless they sign or trade for someone. And since they only dress 7 OL for game days, they can put 1-2 OL on practice squad and be ok.
Just my thinking why I went lighter there...

I see you went with 7 DL, I feel they all can make it, I don't know if they go that many.
And the only other one is I think Barrington makes the roster. Maybe in the expense of Manning?

But looks like we agree pretty good.
Who are you thinking for the Practice Squad?

Evan's picture

I was just going to say I think Barrington is a lock and could easily see him make it ahead of Manning (who was invisible all pre-season).

I also think 7 DL is just too many, especially for a 3-4 team (the obvious rebuttal is that this pass-first team kept 3 FBs once upon a time, so who knows). I think they have to just cross their fingers on Boyd.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree. 7 is tough especially when 60% of the time they are playing nickel with 2 DL. I think 8 deserve to be on the roster, just isn't room for them all.

I see the Pena got released by NE.

L's picture

Yeah, if an O-Lineman isn't traded for then I certainly can see them sticking with 7 on the 53 man roster for the time being and possibly going to 8 once Sherrod is ready and relying on the PS for the additional depth. Still pretty scary if things were to go south in a game, injury wise (knock on wood).

I know they'd probably like to only carry 6 D-linemen into the season including Neal and instead add a player somewhere else given that they're a 3-4 Defense, but I just can't see them taking the chance that Boyd gets scooped up by another team nor anyone else they'd be willing to part with; however, maybe Wilson or Pickett could be traded since they fill a similar role, kind of. Not to mention, if they're looking to the future a bit too they know they'll be facing several of their D-linemen becoming FAs next season and they're probably still not sure what they have in Worthy long-term yet (Pickett - gone, Raji - $?, Jolly - age/$?, Wilson - $?). Boyd gives them that assurance that they have a big body w/ some talent to possibly fill the coming void next year... there's no guarantee that the draft will indeed fill it with someone capable off the bat, so I think they feel forced to hang onto him on the 53, but he'll be inactive every game day unless mass injuries change that... I could easily be wrong though.

I just don't believe Ted & the Packers are ready to give up on Manning yet, so I have him making the club as another permanent gameday inactive unless injuries devastate his position.

I really wanted to put that both Barrington and Palmer would make the team, but I think with Burnett's injury Banjo became more valuable and with how well Mulumba has played it's hard to not pick him over Barrington and/or Palmer. Nevertheless, if an 8th O-Lineman isn't traded for then perhaps Barrington or Palmer makes the 53... probably Barrington considering his eye-popping explosiveness. When Sherrod returns though I'm guessing that Banjo could be the old man out if Burnett is back and playing at 100%. Banjo would then probably take one of the Practice Squad spots.

As for the Practice Squad going into the season...

PS(8): Coleman, (Boyd - if the Pack take that chance), Barrington, Palmer, Walker, Johnson, Lewis, L.Taylor, (Datko/White/Stoneburner/Means/Amosa - anyone of these players could take up the last spot or someone from another team if Boyd makes the team)

Phatgzus's picture

Nice analysis, my thoughts on Palmer, Barrington, and Banjo as well. On PS I envision Coleman, Walker, Palmer, Mulumba, Lewis, Amosa, White, Datko/Stoneburner/Taylor/Johnson (unless they're able to put him on IR).

Phatgzus's picture

I have almost exactly the same 53, but I have Barrington and Moses over Mulumba and Lewis.. It'll be interesting to see if Palmer makes it over Banjo, and to see what they do with Datko.

Phatgzus's picture

Why do people keep putting Johnson on the active roster? He's literally done nothing to prove he's worth a spot on the 53-man or even the PS. I want him to succeed as well, but he'd be lucky to be on the roster this year, I'd say his best bet is to go on IR assuming he has a legitimate injury.

JackintheBox's picture

Patriots just released a TE....Williams or Bostick to N.E. for a player/picks (both?). Only 5 WR and 4 TE's but heavy on hitters (LB's) and D-line.

Air assault and a pounder on O and aggresive take-away D should do the trick. Go on Teddy; work that silver gray magic!

Fish . Crane's picture

Hiding Boyd anywhere is an impossibility

Nononsense's picture

QB(2): Rodgers, Young
RB(5): Lacy, Green, Franklin, Starks, Kuhn
TE(4): Finley, Mulligan, Bostick, Quarless
WR(5): Jones, Nelson, Cobb, Boykin, Ross
OL(8): Bahktiari, Sitton, EDS, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, TBD, TBD
DL(7): Raji, Pickett, Wilson, Jones, Jolly, Daniels, Boyd
ILB(5): Hawk, Jones, François, Barrington, Manning
OLB(4): Mathews, Perry, Neal, Moses
CB(5): Williams, Shields, Hayward, House, Hyde
S(4): Burnett, McMillan, Jennings, Banjo
ST(3): Masthay, Crosby, Goode

I got 52 spots taken and 1 spot for Bush, Lattimore, Taylor whoever is the best guy for STs and the first guy to get cut for one our returning PUP players or any new signings.

The OL has 6 keepers so they need to find one or two new guys to kick the tires on. GVR is terrible in the run game and only marginally better in pass protection.

Id really like to see TT sign Kickalicious and cut Crosby but I doubt that happens unless Crosby starts misfiring again.

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