The Green Bay Packers had their final training camp practice on Thursday and then their final preseason game on Saturday against Seattle. The next and final step that has to take place before the regular season can begin , is to trim their roster from 90 players down to 53.
"“Obviously, it’s a tough time of the year,” said Matt LaFleur following the Seattle game. “When we have to make some really tough decisions, but that’s because of the effort and type of locker room that we have. Gutey (GM Brian Gutekunst) and his staff have done a nice job of getting a very competitive roster, especially at certain positions. But, it’s on to the regular season now.”"
A majority of these roster spots are already determined. By my count, I have 32 roster locks, along with another 10 players that may not quite fall into the lock category, but I feel pretty good about making the team. That potentially leaves just 11 roster spots available, plus the 16 on the practice squad.
Some of the players who find themselves on the roster bubble include Patrick Taylor, Grant DuBose, Sean Rhyan, Royce Newman, Jonathan Ford, Brenton Cox, Tariq Carpenter, Tarvarius Moore, and Daniel Whelan.
Once players are released, they go on waivers if they have fewer than four accrued NFL seasons and if unclaimed, the Packers can then sign them back to the practice squad. If a player is released has four or more accrued seasons, they immediately become a free agent and can sign where they please.
One other note is that Green Bay does have an exception to carry Kenneth Odumegwu as the 54th member of this team as part of the International Player Pathway program. Odumegwu will not be able to be active on game days if rostered as the 54th player.
Rosters have to finalized by 3:00 PM CST on Tuesday, but reports of the Packers releasing players will come in before then. Stay up to date right here with all of those roster moves.
You can also take a look at my final roster prediction for the Green Bay Packers, based on the preseason performances and what I saw from the sidelines during the training camp practices, by clicking here.
Reported roster cuts made by the Packers:
Pat O’Donnell, P: To read more about the Packers decision to move on from O’Donnell, click here.
Cole Schneider, C (Ryan Wood): Schneider was a late addition to the 90-man this summer. He worked primarily with the third team offense, and did struggle with fumbles at the exchange with Alex McGough.
Jason Lewan, IDL (Ryan Wood): Lewan was signed following the draft as an undrafted rookie. He was at the bottom of the defensive line rotation and missed a few practices with an injury.
Lew Nichols, RB (Bill Huber): Nichols will officially be placed on IR and then released with an injury settlement. Huber adds that after three weeks, he is eligible to return to the Packers if he hasn’t signed elsewhere. Nichols was a seventh round draft pick who’s training camp was derailed early on by a shoulder injury. When on the field he displayed good vision and burst as a ball carrier, but did struggle with drops in the passing game.
Matt Orzech, LS (Bill Huber): Huber would add that the plan is to re-sign Orzech on Wednesday. The reason the Packers had to do this is because they are going to move someone from the initial 53 to injured reserve right away, which allows that player to return after a minimum of four games. That player was not named at this time.
Cody Chrest, WR (Ryan Wood): Chrest had a strong finish to training camp and was reliable when the ball came his way. I do think he is a practice squad candidate.
Jimmy Phillips, LB (Bill Huber): Phillips was taking defensive snaps over Tariq Carpenter in the final two preseason games. He was an active tackler, and reliable as well, making 16 tackles with no misses, per PFF, just as was at SMU. Phillips also comes to the NFL with ample special teams experience. He could be a practice squad candidate.
Austin Allen, TE (Ryan Wood): Wood added that the Packers would like Allen back on the practice squad. In a young tight end room, he can fill the traditional Y-tight end role as an in-line blocker. He was the Packers highest graded run-blocker by PFF this preseason and saw some snaps with the starting special teams unit as well.
Jean Delance, OL (Matt Schneidman): Delance was a late practice squad addition in 2022. Although listed as a tackle, he spent most of his time playing guard with the third team offense. In 16 snaps this preseason, he allowed one pressure per PFF. Perhaps a practice squad candidate, but I think players like James Empey and Kadeem Telfort will be prioritized there.
Nate McCrary, RB (Ryan Wood): McCrary was a late training camp addition with the injuries to Lew Nichols and Tyler Goodson. His ceiling was always the practice squad but I’m guessing he doesn’t get brought back. He averaged 3.4 yards per rush on 11 preseason carries and was the last running back on the depth chart.
Kiondre Thomas, CB (Ryan Wood): Thomas put together another really solid preseason. He brings an all around skill set to the cornerback position, able to impact the game in coverage, as a tackler and run defender, along with on special teams. I would think he is a prime practice squad candidate.
Shemar Jean-Charles (Bill Huber): Jean-Charles saw his share of special teams snaps this summer but slid down the depth chart in the cornerback room. With the emergence of Carrington Valentine, the play of Corey Ballentine, the eventual return of Eric Stokes, along with Innis Gaines from the slot, Jean-Charles was at best the eighth option.
Innis Gaines, CB (Ryan Wood): Gaines brings versatility to the defense, primarily lining up from the slot with the second team defense, along with having some experience at safety. He was also a core special teams contributor at the end of last season and this summer when healthy. He’s very much a practice squad candidate.
Tyrell Ford, CB (John Hodge): Ford was signed in January to a futures deal after playing 2022 in the CFL. He was at the bottom of the Packers cornerback depth chart.
Benny Sapp, S (Tom Silverstein): Even with the questions at safety, it’s a crowded room. However, given that everyone at this position group besides Anthony Johnson is playing 2023 on a one-year deal, Sapp could be a practice squad candidate to develop for a season because, as of now, there appear to be more unknowns next year as well.
Dre Miller, TE (Packers News): Miller was originally signed as a receiver but was moved to tight end following the injury to Tyler Davis for depth. He played just 10 preseason snaps.
Kadeem Telfort, OT (Matt Schneidman): Telfort is a developmental prospect, especially with the Packers having such a deep offensive tackle room. He has terrific size at 6’8” but needs refinement. Perhaps the Packers take a swing on Telfort’s upside and bring him back on the practice squad.
Duece Watts, WR (Tom Silverstein): In a crowded and talented receiver room, Watts spent most of summer with the third team offense playing from the slot. He had one catch in the preseason for nine yards. I don’t see him coming back to the practice squad.
Broughton Hatcher, LS (Tom Silverstein): Hatcher was signed following the 2023 draft. As already mentioned, the plan with Orzech is to re-sign him on Wednesday. Orzech was always the favorite to be the Packers long-snapper over Hatcher, with his Super Bowl experience from his time with the Rams.
William Hooper, CB (Ryan Wood): Hooper had a very good preseason. In coverage, he gave up just four receptions on 10 targets at only 7.5 yards per catch with two pass breakups. He was also one of the Packers highest graded special teams players per PFF.
James Empey, C (Bill Huber): Another late addition to the roster, Empey quickly became the center with the second-team offense following Jake Hanson’s injury. In the preseason, he allowed no pressures. My guess is that Empey makes his way back to the practice squad as the second true-center option on this roster. While, of course, there are other players on the 53-man who can play center, Josh Myers is the only true center on the roster.
Corey Ballentine, CB (Bill Huber): When healthy, Ballentine spent training camp with the second team defense on the boundary. He also saw his share of special teams snaps with the starters, not only this summer, but during the second half of last season as well. I thought he was someone the team could keep as the fifth cornerback.
Tarvarius Moore, S (Bill Huber): Moore brought physicality, which we saw against Cincinnati, and special teams experience to the Packers. He saw some snaps with the starting defense as well, as the Packers searched for who would be playing next to Darnell Savage. Moore, however, suffered a knee injury against New England, and will be released with an injury settlement.
Please note, this article will be updated as reports of roster cuts come in