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5 takeaways from Packers' roster decisions

Notes on Mason Crosby, offensive tackles, running backs and a longshot

K Mason Crosby
K Mason Crosby

GREEN BAY – The Packers trimmed their roster to the league-mandated 53-player limit Tuesday.

Here are five takeaways from their decisions, as the roster stands now:

1. The Packers are feeling pretty good about Mason Crosby's recovery.

The veteran kicker had his knee scoped in late June, and he spent all of training camp on the physically unable to perform list (PUP). But the Packers put him on the 53-man roster rather than move him to regular-season PUP, which would have required him to miss at least the first four games.

Also, by releasing backup kicker Ramiz Ahmed, the Packers likely expect Crosby to be ready for Week 1 and keep alive his streak of 241 consecutive games played. Crosby, a sixth-round draft pick in 2007, has never missed a game in his career.

2. With all the uncertainty surrounding offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, the Packers have plenty of reserves at the tackle spots.

Yosh Nijman (left) and Royce Newman (right) played a lot of tackle in training camp, as did rookie fourth-round pick Zach Tom (both sides). Rookie seventh-rounder Rasheed Walker (right) performed well upon returning from injury, particularly last week at Kansas City, his only preseason outing, so he's a fourth option at tackle.

Even with releasing undrafted rookie Caleb Jones, whose monstrous frame and decent preseason film could entice another team to claim him, the Packers have the reinforcements to wait out the returns of Bakhtiari and Jenkins should either or both not be ready for Week 1.

See headshots and action shots of the complete Green Bay Packers 2022 roster.

3. It could take a practice-squad elevation to know for sure who the No. 3 running back is.

The Packers only kept two running backs, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, on their initial 53. The battle for the No. 3 spot between Patrick Taylor, Tyler Goodson and Dexter Williams resulted in none of the three making the roster.

With Kylin Hill still on PUP, the Packers almost certainly will bring back at least one if not two running backs (should they clear waivers) for the practice squad. They also almost certainly won't go into a gameday with just two active running backs, meaning someone will be elevated from the practice squad to serve as the No. 3 in Week 1.

That's when the winner of the competition will be revealed.

4. Never write off a mid-camp signing.

Nine years ago, an unknown, undrafted safety named Chris Banjo, whose initial go-round with the Jaguars didn't pan out, walked into the Packers' training camp just 10 days before the first preseason game.

He shocked everyone by making the team, and Banjo went on to play four years for the Packers, and then six more with the Saints and Cardinals.

Another safety, Micah Abernathy, is this year's Banjo. He showed up just two days before the first preseason game due to injuries at the position and played his way onto the roster, most notably getting an interception and tackle for loss against the Saints at Lambeau Field.

The undrafted Abernathy took a longer road than Banjo to a 53, spending time since 2019 with the Vikings, Buccaneers and Colts, plus playing in the XFL and USFL. But he finally caught on. Time will tell if this opportunity is the launching pad to anything resembling Banjo's remarkable underdog career.

5. This roster is just a starting point.

The waiver-claim period is underway, and if the Packers claim any players waived by other teams, a corresponding roster move will have to be made to create room. That could include releasing additional players, or putting players on injured reserve, which would make them eligible to return later in the season because they were on the initial 53.

After the waiver-claim period expires, the Packers will begin signing players to their practice squad, which has a 16-player limit, with a maximum of six players carrying more than two accrued seasons of service. The other 10 must have two or fewer accrued seasons.

Also, the Packers will need a third quarterback around, so they'll either bring Danny Etling back to the practice squad if he clears, or sign a new QB.

LBs De'Vondre Campbell, Rashan Gary, Preston Smith and DL Kenny Clark.

Packers keep two RBs, seven WRs: Here's the initial 2022 roster

First 53 includes entire 11-player rookie draft class, surging safety Micah Abernathy

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