Monday, July 28, 2014
Green Bay Packers' projected roster
By Rob Demovsky
Examining the Green Bay Packers' roster:
The Packers have not kept three quarterbacks on their opening-day roster since 2008, but they might be inclined to do so this season in order to avoid a situation like last year, when Rodgers broke his collarbone. Coach Mike McCarthy is high on Tolzien, who made two starts last season, but Flynn has proved he can win as a backup in Green Bay. Nothing has changed early in camp to make anyone think differently.
Running backs (4)
The return of Harris, who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, gives the Packers insurance behind Lacy and Starks. Kuhn is valuable both as a fullback and on special teams. It's possible they'll keep a fourth halfback, but the loss of Johnathan Franklin to a career-ending neck injury has left them without a strong in-house candidate for that spot.
The Packers often keep only five receivers, but given that they drafted three -- Adams (second round), Abbrederis (fifth round) and Jeff Janis (seventh round) -- there's a good chance they will keep six. But given the fact that Janis is on the non-football illness list, he might be quickly losing ground. And if the Packers do end up keeping a sixth receiver, at this point Myles White or Chris Harper might have a better chance.
Tight ends (4)
McCarthy likes tight ends (he has kept five before), and the wild card is undrafted rookie Colt Lyerla, who has had a couple of dropped passes so far in training camp.
Offensive linemen (8)
The Packers typically only activate seven offensive linemen on game day, so they can get away with keeping just eight on the roster. Barclay's ability to play all five positions also allows them some freedom. Lane Taylor could be the ninth lineman if they go that route.
Defensive line (5)
There's a drastic change here from our first projection, which listed seven defensive linemen. But after Letroy Guion (hamstring) and Jerel Worthy (back) both failed their physicals and landed on the non-football injury list, they might be in trouble. Also, the Packers might be included to keep an extra couple of linebackers given that Julius Peppers and Mike Neal, who are counted among the outside linebackers, also can play defensive end.
If the Packers have shown anything early in training camp, it's that they plan to use a lot of linebackers in a variety of roles. With Neal and Perry sidelined, Palmer has received plenty of playing time so far. Undrafted rookie Adrian Hubbard is a promising prospect but has not yet shown enough to warrant a roster spot.
Hayward's return from last season's hamstring injury means he likely will return as the slot cornerback in the nickel package, a role played last year by Micah Hyde (who may primarily play safety this year).
The major question here is whether Hyde or Clinton-Dix will be the starter alongside Burnett. Banjo, who played primarily on special teams last season, has worked with Clinton-Dix as the No. 2 safety combination.
There's no competition at any of these spots, and Crosby opened camp by making 7-of-8 field goals in his first kicking session.