As the Green Bay Packers work to trim their roster from 90 players down to 53, there are sure to be some unexpected twists. This happens every year, but this time around, with the Packers shifting their focus to building for the long term, the surprises might be more pronounced.
An early shocker came on Monday when the Packers announced they were letting go of Pat O’Donnell. O’Donnell had been in a training camp competition with Daniel Whelan, and many thought it was just a routine battle.
However, Whelan proved to have a stronger leg and more potential in the long run. This move could be a sign of things to come as the Packers finalize their initial 53-man roster. As they continue to make cuts, here’s a running tally of their most surprising moves.
As the Green Bay Packers finalize their initial 53-man roster, these players were projected to make the team, but ended up being surprise cuts.
Packers Most Surprising Cuts: Austin Allen
Tyler Davis’s season-ending injury threw a wrench into the Packers’ plans at tight end where they were going to keep rookies Tucker Kraft and Luke Musgrave along with veterans Josiah Deguara and Davis. However, Green Bay didn’t bring in anyone new after Davis’s injury, potentially suggesting the direction the Packers were going in.
Allen proved to be a solid blocker in the preseason, but has yet to prove it when the games count. That could be why they released him, keeping just three tight ends on their roster. What the Packers do next will be most telling. They could try to keep Allen on their practice squad and/or attempt to claim a tight end who was cut from another team.
Packers Most Surprising Cuts: Corey Ballentine
It appears the Packers are going to roll with just four cornerbacks to begin the season, as they waived Corey Ballentine along with a plethora of other contenders for the final spot on the depth chart. That’s a risky move, but it might signal Eric Stokes will be ready to return soon (he’ll likely be placed on the PUP list which requires him to sit out at least the first four games). Ballentine is another strong contender for the practice squad.
Packers Most Surprising Cuts: Tarvarius Moore
The math in the safety room didn’t add up as rookie Anthony Johnson got his feet under him and began to show what he could do. Green Bay signed Moore in the offseason, along with veteran Jonathan Owens, as a potential starter at safety alongside Darnell Savage. However, Moore has been dealing with an injury and there are rumors he could reach an injury settlement with the Packers.
Updated Packers’ Surprises After Cut Deadline:
Patrick Taylor barely misses out on the cut for the second consecutive year. This time, Emanuel Wilson beat him out, earning the third running back spot on the Packers’ roster. There could still be a role for Taylor if he wants to return to the practice squad and be a special teams ace like he was a season ago.
The Packers kept six wide receivers–Christian Watson, Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, Malik Heath, Samori Toure and Romeo Doubs–but Grant DuBose wasn’t one of them. DuBose got a late start after battling an injury, but could be a key practice squad edition with a bright future.