As the Green Bay Packers go through the difficult roster cut-down process, it’s likely many of the NFC North squad’s moves leading up to Saturday’s final 53-man trim will be motivated by a number of injuries at several positions.
While slimming the squad down to 75 on Tuesday with the release of several players and one trade, the Packers are simultaneously preparing for Thursday’s final preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Specifically, Green Bay announced the release of wide receiver Harvey Binford and placed center Jacob Flores, guard Josh Walker, tight ends Mitchell Henry and Kennard Backman, and running back John Crockett on injured reserve. The Packers also sent outside linebacker Lerentee McCray to the Buffalo Bills for a 2018 draft pick.
The moves present opportunities for many who might’ve been just outside the roster bubble. Crockett, who appeared in two games last season but injured his shoulder against San Francisco last week, had a promising preseason but his spot at third-string running back could likely go to rookie Brandon Burks.
Crockett and Burks tied for second on the team with 89 rushing yards through three preseason games, but the former was far more involved in the passing game and totaled a team-high 10 receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Backman and Henry’s injuries may have also afforded tight end Justin Perillo a spot. Henry suffered a broken finger and Backman requires arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after a right hamstring injury forced out against the 49ers, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Perillo, now entering his third season out of Maine, was an undrafted free agent in 2014 and last season appeared in nine games, recording 11 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. The 25-year-old should sit behind Richard Rodgers and Jared Cook on the depth chart.
The Packers held their last practice of training camp Tuesday, but Monday the team saw signs of life from star receiver Jordy Nelson. According to ESPN, Nelson participated in his first 11-on-11 workouts this season after coming back to practice in a limited capacity last week. However, he’s not expected to play Thursday.