As we get closer to the end of camp, that means that, unfortunately, “The Turk” will come calling for players. And when he tells them that coach wants to see them, they know that their time is up. For the Packers it is no different, except that this year the cuts are much more difficult.
The first cut down needs to take place by Tuesday, and the roster has to be down to 75. Currently the Packers sit at 88. This first wave of cuts will be extremely tense and a lot of players are facing the block, but only twelve need to go after Jordy Nelson is placed on Injured Reserve. With Saturday’s game still to come, here is my early projection for who will be cut from the Green Bay Packers.
WR Ed Williams #5
While replacing Nelson is a task that is needed now, Williams has not been able to separate himself enough to gain a roster spot over guys like Larry Pinkard or Myles White. Plus at age 24, he is old for a rookie and the team doesn’t have time to wait for him to develop over guys like the aforementioned or Ty Montgomery.
WR Javess Blue #10
Blue hasn’t practiced or played in either game so far and his injury has put him behind the eight-ball. Unlike a guy like Jared Abbrederis who appears to be getting closer to health, we haven’t heard anything on Blue which makes him a great candidate for either a trip to IR or an injury settlement.
WR James Butler #13
Butler is a casualty of being brought into camp too late. I’m expecting some big things from the young receivers Saturday, making him expendable. He is a big target but he just doesn’t have the time to catch up to the others.
CB Ryan White #31
White is a tough cut here since he has made some plays in the games over the past couple of years. But the fact that he wasn’t brought into camp right away this season doesn’t bode well for him to stay over guys like Tay Glover-Wright, who has also flashed in camp and in games. White is still an interesting candidate for the practice squad though.
TE Harold Spears #40
The Packers are likely to keep only three tight ends and two of those spots are occupied by Richard Rodgers and Andrew Quarless. That leaves one spot for Justin Perillo, Kennard Backman, Mitchell Henry, and Spears. Of those, I have heard the least about Spears. Backman was a draft pick, while Perillo has been impressive in two camps and is my favorite for that third spot. And Henry, despite his injury has been impressive in camp so far. That leaves out Spears.
S Kyle Sebetic #41
This one hurt a little personally since I saw him play in college firsthand as he went to a rival school in Dayton. But he just doesn’t bring the skills to make this team. He is a sound tackler, but he’s very similar to Chris Banjo or Sean Richardson in that regard, and both of those guys have a leg up due to their special teams prowess.
LB Josh Francis #45
Linebacker has a lot of spots up for grabs, but while guys like Adrian Hubbard haven’t been great, at least I have heard their names either in camp recaps or during games. Francis has been invisible and is well behind guys like Jermauria Rasco and James Vaughters.
RB Alonzo Harris #46
This is one of my bigger surprises when I started to trim the roster, as Harris got the third team reps last week and was solid against New England. But both Rajion Neal and John Crockett offer more of what the team needs. Neal is more agile and can return kicks, plus he’s been in the system for a year and Crockett is more heralded and a better receiver. Harris is a bruiser and a solid one at that, but his skill set isn’t what the Packers need right now. Another practice squad candidate for sure.
LB Carl Bradford #54
My biggest surprise in this article, Bradford has started to show some signs of life, but unless he goes off against Philadelphia, he should be gone. He never fit into this defense well and his size and lack of strength in the middle hurt him badly. Much like Terrell Manning, let him go and give him a chance to catch on somewhere else during Week 4.
OL Garth Gerhart #72
This one hurt a little as well as he has grown a lot as a player since signing here in 2013. He has seen game time and has shown potential, but the depth in the interior line is a lot more promising now and he hasn’t shown more than guys like Josh Walker or Matt Rotheram this season. Let him get a chance somewhere else where better depth is needed.
OL Andy Phillips #77
See Gerhart, Garth. Phillips hasn’t shown me anything either during games or from what I’ve been hearing from camp.
DL Lavon Hooks #78
The darling of OTAs, Hooks has a ton of potential, but the other defensive linemen have passed him. I can’t think of any other defensive end or tackle who I would cut over him. The only ones close were Khyri Thornton and Bruce Gaston, but they have both shown tremendous flashes in the preseason. Expect Hooks to catch on somewhere else or the practice squad, and we’ll hear his name plenty of times in the coming years.
With those cuts, we are down to 75 players and then will have to get down to 53 not long after that. So keep an eye out for the transactions and the waiver wire.——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.