The Green Bay Packers made two roster moves on Monday, announcing that they released wide receiver Bo Melton and running back James Robinson. They also designated for return Eric Stokes from IR. Here is what you need to know.
Both Melton and Robinson were signed from the Packers practice squad to the active roster prior to Green Bay’s Thanksgiving game with Detroit.
With Dontayvion Wicks in concussion protocol and Jayden Reed on the injury report earlier in the week, Melton provided some added depth at receiver. Melton would play two offensive snaps and six on special teams, per PFF.
Similarly, at running back, with the Packers dealing with injuries, Robinson was brought up to add depth as a more emergency third option behind AJ Dillon and Patrick Taylor. He didn’t see any snaps on offense or special teams.
Matt LaFleur confirmed on Monday that Wicks is out of concussion protocol, putting the Packers back at full strength at receiver. During Monday’s practice, Taylor and Ellis Merriweather were the only healthy running backs. Dillon’s status doesn’t seem to be a concern, but Aaron Jones’ availability – as he works his way back from an MCL sprain – is still a huge question mark.
"“We’ll see,” said LaFleur when asked about Jones’ status for Sunday. “We are a long way from that coming to fruition.”"
Without Jones, the Packers would either have to elevate Merriweather or make an outside addition at some point this week to be that third running back option available on game day.
Some good news on the injury front is that Stokes was back at practice on Monday after being sidelined with a hamstring injury that he suffered against Denver in what was his return action following last season’s Week 9 injury.
This now opens up a 21-day window for Stokes to be added back to the 53-man roster. For what it’s worth, earlier in the season, when Stokes was working his way back, the Packers used almost the full 21 days before putting him back on the 53-man.
Since we last saw Stokes, the cornerback room has become a little less crowded with Rasul Douglas in Buffalo, but Carrington Valentine has very much held his own in that starting spot. How the Packers work Stokes back in defensively remains to be seen. Against Denver, as part of the ramp-up process, Stokes was only playing special teams.
"“You’d be crazy not to ignore any of the past,” said LaFleur when asked if how they handled Stokes return from injury earlier in the year would impact their approach this time around. “I know he’s feeling really confident right now and really good, otherwise, we wouldn’t have taken him off. It’s great to have him out there.”"
Currently, the Packers have two roster spots now open on the 53-man roster. It does sound like one of those could belong to Darnell Savage in the near future, who was designated to return from IR last week.
"“Potentially,” said LaFleur when asked if Savage could return this week. “That’s the goal. That’s the hope. We were hopeful he potentially was going to be back last week but he wasn’t. So we will take it in stride, go through the week, and see where he’s at.”"
Eventually, when Stokes fully returns, he will have to be added back to the active roster as well. Green Bay also has two openings on the practice squad after signing Melton and Robinson to the 53-man last week.