There’s one big reason I love Green Bay Packers Training Camp and Preseason games. I can’t get enough of watching the roster bubble guys lay it all out on the line for their spot on the final roster. Every year I always pick out a late-round draft pick or undrafted free agent that I think is going to make it. Last year, I was adamant that Running Back Tyler Goodson would make it. I was wrong. But he may have another chance this year.
During last year’s Training Camp, Tyler Goodson made a strong case for his spot on the roster. He showed up in both areas, rushing and receiving, turning heads in the process. In 2022 camp, he was a consistent target out of the backfield for Jordan Love and that didn’t stop when it came to the Preseason games.
Once Preseason rolled around, Goodson insured he still stuck out. Combining the three games, Goodson had 29 carries for 107 yards and a TD, as well as 8 receptions for 60 yards. He absolutely stood out in the final Preseason game vs the Chiefs where he had a 24-yard touchdown run showcasing a strong spin-move to elude a defender. It was hard not to give him a roster spot at that point.
But, when roster cuts rolled around on 8/26, Goodson was placed on waivers. He cleared and later signed on to the Packers Practice squad to start the 2022 season.
Spending 2022 on the Practice Squad
As an Undrafted Free Agent, an opportunity is all you can ask for. Of course, you want to make that roster out of camp. But if you can’t, a Practice squad opportunity is undoubtedly second best. It’s a chance to still showcase what you have. It’s a chance to learn and improve to eventually get you on that 53-man roster.
Tyler Goodson definitely made the best of it in 2022. He shadowed veterans Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon throughout the building. He spent all the time he could with running back’s coach, Ben Sirmans. Matt LaFleur stated that Goodson had really matured over the year. He has a better grasp on what is expected of him this year which could give him a boost.
Not only has Goodson polished up his mindset, but he’s worked on his craft as well. Fellow Running Back Aaron Jones noted “I think Tyler Goodson will be a weapon for us. He’s been out here balling, been out here working hard.”
He’s been utilized in a variety of ways throughout OTA’s as well. Not only has Goodson come out of the backfield, but he has also been lined up in a slot receiver position. Look for Matt LaFleur to possibly utilize all the running backs out of the slot this season.
Placing Tyler Goodson in the slot, could utilize his pass-catching abilities, as well as put him in position for a few jet-sweep carries. We saw the Packers utilize their young receivers with jet-sweeps a lot last year, it could be time for the speedier running backs to benefit from this as well.
Keys to making the roster
Of course, we know that Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are the premiere running backs on this team. After them, the competition is wide open.
The first competitor to Goodson, with his minimal samples in the regular season in 2022, Patrick Taylor, failed to impress. He started the season on the Practice Squad. He had two stints on the active roster but didn’t jump out much. The other viable competition for Goodson, would be 7th round pick, Lew Nichols. Nichols appears to be a good downhill runner but could use some polishing before seeing any regular action. He also has minimal special teams experience where he might need to show in order to grab that third running back spot.
As it is with many roster-bubble guys, Tyler Goodson will need to show up in Special Teams. He already has experience as a kick returner to his credit so that will surely help. Tyler Goodson also could become a Tyler Ervin-esque player for the Packers. Kind of a gadget player due to his high versatility. As mentioned before, he could be used in jet sweeps from a slot receiver position. Also, it would be neat to see him take some direct snaps. That is something we rarely, if ever saw in the Aaron Rodgers era. Not Wildcat, but some shotgun snaps from right next to the Quarterback to take off on a run. His quickness could make this effective.
My very early prediction says if the Packers are going to carry three running backs, that third is going to be Tyler Goodson. Patrick Taylor has had his chances, and just hasn’t impressed enough for that spot yet out of camp. The one question I have is Lew Nichols. Brian Gutekunst is notorious for holding on to all of his draft picks that first year. But perhaps this isn’t one of those years. Tyler Goodson takes that third running back spot, and perhaps becomes a playmaker if given those opportunities.
Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.