The Green Bay Packers have to trim 22 players from their roster to get down to the 53-player regular season limit by 3pm on Saturday. Here’s my attempt at coming up with the 53 the Packers will go to bat with in the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Keep: Aaron Rodgers & Matt Flynn
Cut: Graham Harrell – He’ll land on the Packers practice squad and is worthy of keeping around after showing progress in the last couple weeks of training camp.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
Keep: Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, John Kuhn, Korey Hall & Quinn Johnson
Cut: Kregg Lumpkin – Lumpkin performed well in last night’s final preseason
game, but not well enough to keep the Packers from releasing FB Quinn Johnson, who really came on strong during the last half of training camp. Kuhn’s ability to play some halfback gives the Packers some breathing room if a halfback gets hurt.
Keep: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Brett Swain
Cut: Patrick Williams, Chastin West, Charles Dillon, Jason Chery
This was an easy choice. Swain cemented his spot on the roster with a solid finish in last night’s Chiefs game. Chery cemented his departure after fumbling the games opening kickoff.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
Keep: Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, Andrew Quarless & Spencer Havner
Cut: Tom Crabtree
As much as I was hoping Crabtree would find a spot on the roster, this decision has as much to do with Quinn Johnson’s improved play at fullback. With the Packers, in my opinion, keeping three fullbacks took away the chance to hang on to five tight ends. The Packers will try to bring Crabtree back to the practice squad, if he doesn’t catch on someplace else.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
Keep: Chad Clifton, Daryn Colledge, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton, Mark Tauscher, Bryan Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Jason Spitz, Marshall Newhouse
Cut: Evan Dietrich-Smith, Allen Barbre, Breno Giacomini, Nick McDonald, Chris Campbell
The Packers could trade Jason Spitz, which could make room on the 53 for Evan Dietrick-Smith
Keep: Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, Jarrett Bush
Cut: D.J. Clark
Bush has bought himself some extra time for now with Al Harris on the P.U.P. list.
Keep: Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett, Derrick Martin
Charlie Peprah, Will Blackmon
Cut: Anthony Levine
Blackmon is still a question mark here with his sore knee.
Keep: Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar, Brad Jones, Brady Poppinga, Desmond Bishop, Frank Zombo
Cut: Robert Francois, Alex Joseph, Cyril Obiozor, Maurice Simpkins
Packers have luxury of adding Spencer Havner from tight end group if they run into injuries.
DEFENSIVE LINE (6)
Keep: Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, Mike Neal, Jarius Wynn, C.J. Wilson
Cut: Justin Harrell, Ronald Talley, Anthony Toribio
The Packers wanted to find a way to keep Harrell, but he just didn’t earn a spot. Harrell stayed healthy enough during training camp, but he just didn’t do enough on the field to warrant a roster position.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
Keep: Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode
Cut: Chris Bryan
Masthay simply out-kicked Bryan during training camp. His ability to kickoff also can’t be overlooked.