The Green Bay Packers are wasting no time in giving newly acquired running back and returner Tyler Ervin a shot on both kick and punt returns this week against Washington. Packers coach Matt LaFleur indicated that would likely be the case when speaking with reporters on Wednesday.
The Packers claimed Ervin off waivers from Jacksonville on Monday and threw him right into the mix when practice resumed on Wednesday.
Ervin is listed as a running back and gives the Packers some depth there, but has just five carries and 14 receptions during his brief NFL career. Ervin has primarily been used as a return specialist since being drafted by Houston in the fourth round out of San Jose State in 2016.
“I got a chance to watch a little bit of tape on him,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “He’s an elusive guy. He’s got some juice. He’s pretty fast. I also like his versatility in terms of being able to add some depth to our running back position. He’s played a little bit in the slot as well.”
The Packers have had a number of returners come and go this season. They’re hoping the turn style stops with Ervin.
The Packers are 28th in the league in kick returns and last with minus-8 punt return yards.
Ervin’s opportunities with Jacksonville this season have been limited, averaging 21.4 yards on five kick returns and 1.8 yards on five punt returns. From 2016-1028 in Houston, Ervin averaged 21.1 yards per kick return with a career-high 25.3 average in 2018. He returned 61 punts in during that span, averaging 8.3 yards per return.