16

October

Packers News: WR Tyrone Walker signed to practice squad

Packers WR Tyrone Walker had a strong preseason, and now he's back for another run with the team.

Packers WR Tyrone Walker had a strong preseason, and now he’s back for another run with the team.

According to the team’s official website, the Green Bay Packers have brought back Tyrone Walker to the practice squad.

The move was announced Wednesday by Packers general manager Ted Thompson.

Walker, 5’10″ 191 pounds, spent training camp with the Packers before being released as part of the team’s final cuts. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks and remained on their practice squad for one game before he was let go.

Walker joins recently re-signed receiver Reggie Dunn, giving the team two wideouts on the eight-man practice squad.

Before signing with the Packers as an undrafted free agent, Walker left Illinois State as the school’s career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Walker will, again, wear No. 83 with the team.

In the preseason, Walker led the Packers with 11 catches; Walker’s 86 receiving yards ranked third on the team behind Myles White and Jermichael Finley.

While certainly not the biggest or fastest receiver on the roster, Walker proved to have reliable hands throughout training camp and the preseason. Given his stature and lack of top-end speed, Walker faces long odds to make a significant impact, but the receiver-needy Packers could be his best opportunity to catch on (pun intended) with a NFL team.

Including the injured James Jones, the Packers currently have four wide receivers on the roster to go along with five tight ends. Jones’ status for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns is still up in the air, although earlier this week, head coach Mike McCarthy said Jones “might be able to play.”

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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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15

October

Myles White Promoted From Practice Squad, Van Roten Placed on Injured Reserve

Myles White

White was promoted from the practice squad after Cobb was placed on injured reserve

The Green Bay Packers continue to make roster moves today.  According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsy, the Packers placed wide receiver Randall Cobb on injured reserve-designated to return, placed offensive lineman Greg Van Roten on season-ending injured reserve and signed receiver Myles White from their practice squad.

With Cobb slated to be out until at least week 15, many questions have surfaced as to what the Packers would do to fill the void on offense.  While replacing a dynamic receiver like Cobb is difficult by itself, the team will also miss his play-making abilities all around.  In addition to his duties as a receiver, Cobb has also carried the ball out of the backfield and returned kicks this season.

The Packers appear content to look to some of their current players and options.  It has been speculated that tight end Jermichael Finley will see extensive time split out at receiver.  This was already a given but was further fueled by the news that the Packers signed another of their practice squad players in that of tight end Jake Stoneburner.

White was signed for depth purposes as without Cobb, the Packers were down to just three receivers on their roster in that of James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin.

With Van Roten’s placement on IR comes some speculation as to how well offensive linemen Derek Sherrod and J.C. Tretter are progressing in their rehab from injury.  Both are on the physically unable to perform list and are now officially eligible to begin practicing with the team.  The Packers have up to three weeks to allow each to begin practicing and up to another three weeks from their first practice to either activate them, put them on season-ending injured reserve, or release them outright.

Sherrod hasn’t seen any football action since December of 2011 while Tretter was injured early in training camp during a non-contact drill.  With Van Roten now out of the mix, the Packers have only rookie Lane Taylor and Marshall Newhouse behind the five offensive line starters.  If Sherrod or Tretter are unable to return this season, the Packers will likely look to add another lineman for added depth.

What the Packers do with Sherrod, Tretter and defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, who is also on PUP, will lead to more roster moves in the coming weeks.

 

 

15

October

Packers News: Team signs TE Stoneburner to active roster

The Packers have promoted tight end Jake Stoneburner to the active roster.

The Packers have promoted tight end Jake Stoneburner to the active roster.

According to Jason La Canfora’s official Twitter account, the Green Bay Packers have signed tight end Jake Stoneburner to the active roster following their recent rash of injuries.

Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, the Packers lost wide receiver Randall Cobb for six-to-eight weeks with a fractured fibula. Fellow wide receiver James Jones suffered a sprained MCL and appears questionable for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Stoneburner’s promotion to the 53-man roster gives the Packers five tight ends and three wide receivers, including Jones.

An athletic rookie tight end from Ohio State, Stoneburner was often split out wide in Urban Meyer’s offense. He clocked a 4.53 forty-yard dash at Ohio State’s Pro Day Mar. 8, which would suggest an ability to stretch the field; however, Stoneburner only caught 53 passes in his four-year collegiate career.

In his junior season in 2011, seven of Stoneburner’s were for touchdowns.

Without Cobb in the slot, starting tight end Jermichael Finley will likely be split out more often than usual with Andrew Quarless filling Finley’s shoes as an in-line blocker. Finley, at 6’5″ 250 pounds, isn’t capable of taking on all of Cobb’s responsibilities in the Packers’ offense, but at this point, he may be the team’s best option to stretch the field from the slot.

Last week, the Browns signed wide receiver Charles Johnson off the Packers’ practice squad, leaving Myles White and the recently re-signed Reggie Dunn as the team’s two wide receivers on the practice squad.

As of right now, the Packers have not announced the necessary roster move to promote Stoneburner, but one would figure that Cobb is a logical candidate for the I.R./Designated to Return list.

The Packers reportedly tried to sign wide receiver Tavarres King off the Denver Broncos’ practice squad, but King has since been promoted to Denver’s active roster. More moves could be on the horizon for the Packers, but for now, it looks like they’ll go heavy at tight end and light at wide receiver for the near future.

10

October

Packers Sign Gerhart to Practice Squad, Release Dunn

Garth Gerhart

Gerhart rejoins the Packers practice squad

The Green Bay Packers announced that they have signed center Garth Gerhart to their practice squad.  The Packers signed Gerhart to the practice squad during last year’s postseason and after he had spent all of 2012 on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad.

Gerhart spent training camp with the Packers this past summer and was let go during some of the team’s last cut downs.

The signing likely means that the injury to Greg Van Roten’s foot is going to keep him out for a while longer and the team currently had no true centers behind starter Evan Dietrich-Smith.

The backup plan, in the event that EDS were to get hurt, was to utilize one of Don Barclay, TJ Lang or Josh Sitton at center and move Marshall Newhouse into the mix.  Even with Gerhart waiting in the wings, that plan may still be the main contingency.

Once Van Roten is able to return, it is likely that Gerhart could be let go again, but any time a former Arizona State Sun Devil is on Green Bay’s roster, this alum jumps at the chance to spread the news.

In order to create a spot for Gerhart, the Packers released receiver/kick returner Reggie Dunn.  Dunn was signed last week after the team released Jeremy Ross, and in the hopes that he might be able to emerge as the primary kick returner.  That wasn’t the case, and the Packers will continue to search out their best option in the return game.

 

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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30

September

Does Hill Promotion Mean More Serious Injury For Starks?

James Starks injury

Is Starks headed for another early exit?

The Green Bay Packers announced on Monday that running back Michael Hill was signed off of the team’s practice squad and to the 53-man roster.  Hill fills the roster spot that was vacated when the Packers released receiver/kick returner Jeremy Ross following the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hill spent most of this year’s training camp with the San Diego Chargers and was signed to the Packers practice squad after he was released.

Hill’s spot on the practice squad was filled by wide receiver/kick return specialist Reggie Dunn.  Dunn is an undrafted rookie who reportedly ran a 4.24, 40 at his University of Utah Pro Day back in March.  As a kick returner, Dunn excelled. He returned four of his 10 run backs for touchdowns and averaging just over 50 yards per return last season.

With Hill’s promotion and Dunn’s immediate signing to the practice squad to fill that spot, questions have surfaced as to which of the Packers’ injured running backs may be missing more time.

Eddie Lacy sat out the game in Cincinnati recovering from a concussion he suffered the week prior against the Washington Redskins.  Fullback John Kuhn also missed this last game with a hamstring injury.  During the game against the Bengals, James Starks hurt his knee in the first half and did not return.  Starks was replaced by rookie Johnathan Franklin, who suffered a foot injury, but did return to action.

On Monday it was reported that both Lacy and Franklin participated in practice.  Starks and Kuhn did not participate.  Kuhn’s absence is likely a precaution and given that hamstring injuries are easily aggravated.  It seems most likely that the Packers are preparing to be without Starks for a while.

When asked about his knee following the Bengals game, Starks said the following to Ty Dunne of the Journal-Sentinel:

“More time to heal and get right and get back to doing what I was trying to do,” Starks said on the bye week. “I’m hoping. I prayed about it. So hopefully everything goes how I want it to go. It’s God’s plan. I’ll just make the best of it. . .they’re just making sure everything is good from the swelling and everything. But it feels better than it did.”

4

September

This year’s Packers Practice Squad Unusual for Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson looked outside of his own cuts to assemble this year's practice squad.

Ted Thompson looked outside of his own cuts to assemble this year’s practice squad.

Ted Thompson, almost to a fault, likes to keep “his guys” around for as long as possible. And this year’s practice squad looks very different than those of years past.

The team’s 2013 practice squad features four players from outside the Packers’ final cuts, along with wide receiver Charles Johnson, cornerback James Nixon, tight end Jake Stoneburner and wide receiver Myles White. Perhaps Thompson wanted some of his cuts to return to the practice squad before they were ultimately claimed by other teams.

Last year, seven members of the team’s practice squad spent training camp in Green Bay. Offensive lineman Chris Scott, signed from the Pittsburgh Steelers, was the lone member of the practice squad who didn’t spend the summer in Green Bay.

By the numbers, the eight-man practice squad tilts heavily towards the offense. Seven of the eight practice-squad spots are held by offensive players, leaving Nixon as the lone defender. On the other hand, the defense holds 28 of the 53 active roster spots.

Half of the practice squad spent the summer (or longer) with the Packers. Here they are:

WR Charles Johnson #17

A seventh-round draft pick from Grand Valley State, Johnson struggled to stay on the field throughout the summer. Hampered by injuries, the 6-foot-2 215-pound receiver showed flashes of his potential but didn’t show enough to merit a spot on the 53-man roster. It will be interesting to see whether or not Johnson or undrafted rookie Myles White is called upon if the injury bug bites the receiving corps.

CB James Nixon #25

Nixon was signed to the practice squad Sept. 20, 2012. A college running back and wide receiver, Nixon certainly has enough athleticism to make it at the professional level. He began his college career at Temple before transferring to the University of California in Pennsylvania for his senior season. After Mason Crosby, Nixon was the story of this year’s Family Night Scrimmage, thanks to an interception and a 66-yard return for a touchdown.

TE Jake Stoneburner #45

The former Ohio State tight end found himself buried on the training-camp depth chart behind veterans Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor. Stoneburner is not as athletic as Finley or second-year prospect Brandon Bostick, but he had a steady camp, which played a role in the team letting Williams walk. Thanks to his name, there’s a perception that Stoneburner is a throwback, in-your-face-type player, but he clocked a 4.53 in the forty-yard dash at Ohio State’s Pro Day.

1

September

New Life: Packers Practice Squad Signings – 2013

Reserved for the Packers Practice Squad

Reserved for the Packers Practice Squad

Eight players will escape the grip of the Turk as the Packers form their 2013 Practice Squad.

The following players have been signed so far according to various reports and sources.  Any reported signings will not be listed here, however, if not reported by a verified member of the media.

2013 Packers Practice Squad:

QB Scott Tolzien: As reported last night by Bill Huber of PackerReport.com, the Packers have added the former Univ of Wisconsin QB to their practice squad. Recently cut by the 49ers, one has to wonder if he’s here for a “brain-drain” on the Packers’ first opponent.

CB James Nixon: Pete Dougherty of the GB Press-Gazette reports Nixon is in the fold.

WR Charles Johnson: per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Johnson cleared waivers and was added to the Packers’ practice squad.

WR Myles White: Wes Hodkiewicz of the GB Press-Gazette says the Packers have added the speedy white to the PS.

TE Jake Stoneburner: This one comes from Stoneburner himself, who tweeted, “The dream continues. Still a packer. #gopackgo

G Bryan Collins: Per Rob Demovsky of ESPN, via Twitter.  Collins was an undrafted rookie recently released by the Houston Texans.  With Patrick Lewis off to Cleveland, the Packers wanted to add another developmental body at O-line.

OT Aaron Adams: Packers.com reports the 2013 UDFA cut by Cleveland has been added to the squad.

RB Michael Hill: Packers.com says the Packers have filled out their practice squad by adding Missouri Western’s all-time rushing leader to their practice squad.

Check back here for more signings as they are reported…

 

While we’re waiting, several sources have confirmed that Green bay have brought  RB Joe McKnight, WR Sam McGuffie & guards Bryan Collins & Chandler Burden in for workouts.

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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