This past weekend, the Green Bay Packers set their 53 man roster. Once that was complete, it didn’t take long for general manager Brian Gutekunst to shift his attention to the practice squad roster. This season, NFL teams are allowed to carry 16 players, up from 10. With no preseason games and COVID still running wild, the practice squad will be a very crucial piece for NFL rosters. Today we take a look at the players who will make up the Green Bay Packers practice squad.
Green Bay Packers Practice Squad is Set for the Opening of 2020
NFL teams are allowed to carry 16 players on their practice squads, however, the Packers currently have just 14. Packersnews.com has reported that running back Dexter Williams will be signed as the 15th member. The former 2019 sixth-round pick was recently cut by the Packers when they trimmed down to 53. He lost out to rookie running back AJ Dillon for the Packers’ third tailback spot. With head coach Matt LaFleur putting more emphasis on the ground game, it wasn’t surprising to see Williams return.
The Packers practice squad has a lot of familiar names on it. Each player that has been signed was in camp with the Packers this training camp. It appears that every player that Gutekunst wanted to retain for the practice squad he was able to do so. Here is a look at the players who will be a part of the Packers practice squad to open the season.
Wide Receiver, Reggie Begelton
Heading the list of players for the Packers practice squad is wide receiver Reggie Begelton. If you are a faithful reader of LWOPF, you are very familiar with Begelton. He was a standout performer in the CFL and that helped him earn a contract with the Packers. But without the play of preseason games, Begelton wasn’t able to showcase his talents.
The Packers are only carrying five wide receivers on their 53 man roster. Along with the thin depth, there are questions about the talent they have behind star wide receiver Davante Adams. With Belgelton on the practice squad, he will serve as an insurance policy if needed.
Inside Linebacker, Krys Barnes
Krys Barnes signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent after this year’s NFL draft. Barnes was a standout linebacker for UCLA. Bringing Barnes back as a part of the Packers practice squad wasn’t much of a shocker. Similar to the wide receiver position, inside linebacker seems a position of weakness for the Packers. The Packers top two current inside linebackers, Christian Kirksey and Oren Burks, both have dealt with injuries during their careers. If one or both were to once again get injured, Barnes could see a promotion.
Tight End/Fullback, John Lovett
In training camp, we wrote about how John Lovett could be a hidden gem for the Packers. The former Princeton quarterback is big and can play tight end, h-back, or even fullback. The Packers chose to go with third-round pick Josiah Deguara for the h-back/fullback position. If Deguara struggles or suffers an injury, Lovett could get a call-up.
Center, Jake Hanson
The Packers spent a sixth-round selection on Jake Hanson this year’s NFL draft. With starting center Corey Linsley in the last year of his contract, many wondered if Hanson would be the heir apparent. It appears that Hanson, who played in a shotgun spread offense at the University of Oregon, needs time to adjust to an NFL offense. The Packers have a solid backup to Linsley in Lucas Patrick already. That won’t force Hanson into action, allowing him to learn the Packers offense while on the practice squad.
Offensive Tackle, Alex Light
Alex Light not making the 53 man roster came as a surprise to some. As pointed out by PackersNews.com, Alex Light played 151 snaps for the Packers last season. But even with the experience, it wasn’t enough for him to make the Packers 53 man roster. Former practice squad player Yosh Nijman beat him out for the last tackle position. The Packers are thin at tackle and Light could see a promotion if he is needed.
Defensive Lineman, Willington Previlon
The Packers are going very thin at the defensive line going into 2020. The Packers struggled last season stopping the run, something that Willington Previlon could provide help with.
Cornerback, Stanford Samuels III
The Packers are very strong at the cornerback position. The result was there wasn’t a place for Stanford Samuels III on the 53 man roster. Samuels had a strong training camp and possesses solid size (6’1″) for a cornerback. That was enough for the Packers to bring him back as a member of the practice squad.
Outside Linebacker, Delontae Scott
Delontae Scott is a prospect we highlighted before the Packers started training camp. While playing rush end at SMU, Scott sacked the quarterback nine times in 2019. He will need to adjust to rushing from a standing position with the Packers. In this case, his time on the practice squad will give him time to adjust as a standup pass rusher.
Wide Receiver, Darrius Shepherd
At the start of 2019, Darrius Shepherd was the Packers primary kickoff and punt returner. Shepherd struggled as a returner due to fumbles and lapses in judgment. These issues caused him to lose that job and he was eventually released. The Packers did re-sign him to the practice squad. He returned this training camp and did well, but it wasn’t enough to win a spot on the Packers 53 man roster. He has the typical body of a slot receiver. Something the Packers currently don’t have on their 53 man roster. If LaFleur needs a receiver to fill the slot role, Shepherd could hear his name called.
Outside Linebacker, Greg Roberts
The return of Greg Roberts came as a surprise. He has been a bit of a disappointment in his two seasons with the Packers. While Roberts has great size for an outside linebacker, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. For example, after missing time in training camp in 2019 because of injury, he once again missed time again this training camp. Gutekunst and his staff must see something in the former Baylor product to keep bringing him back.
Outside Linebacker, Tipa Galeai
The Packers appear to be going heavy at outside linebacker on their practice squad as well as their active roster. Tipa Galeai is an undersized pass rusher who was very productive at Utah State. He will need to add weight to his frame, but being a part of the Packers practice squad should allow him to do so.
Running Back, Damarea Crockett
Damarea Crockett is another Packer who will be spending his second season on the Packers practice squad. Crockett spent time on the practice squad in 2019. If the Packers bring back Williams, Crockett will be the second running back on the Packers practice squad.
Offensive Guard, Zack Johnson
Zack Johnson joins Shepherd as a former North Dakota State Bison that will be on the Packers practice squad. Johnson was an All American guard while playing for the Bison. The Packers signed him as an undrafted free agent after this year’s draft. Johnson appears to have some potential and looks to be a solid developmental prospect for the Packers.
Safety, Henry Black
With the Packers carrying five safeties on their roster, it was surprising to see them sign one to their practice squad. However, Henry Black must have shown enough in training camp for Gutekunst and his staff to sign him to the practice squad. Black signed as an undrafted free agent from Baylor after this year’s draft.
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