Kumerow on roster - for now

FB Ripkowski, LB Biegel cut

Mike Clemens
September 01, 2018 - 7:34 pm

© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Green Bay, WI - The Packers reduced their roster to 53 players. But as in every Labor Day weekend, the situation here is, as the team likes to say "fluid." Constantly in motion. More changes yet to come. Stay tuned. 

The Packers are now monitoring players released around the league, with positions of need they would like to sign to their practice squad, such as back-up offensive linemen. Linebackers. Perhaps a running back. 

During mini camps we were really impressed with receiver Equinimeous St. Brown, 21, 6-6, 214lbs receiver drafted in the 6th round out of Notre Dame. We picked him as our long shot to make the roster. And he did, along with former UW Whitewater Div. III receiver Jake Kumerow, who despite injuring his shoulder on a touchdown dive into the end zone August 16th, showed enough to the scouts, coaches, and Aaron Rodgers, that he was worthy of a spot on the roster. 

As of Saturday night, the Packers have eight receivers on the roster, including returner Trevor Davis, although there was a report earlier in the day the team was trying to trade Davis away, according to Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

We're not surprised the Packers kept four tight ends, because of the way the fourth one, #85  rookie Robert Tonyan, consistently caught passes in practice, and touchdowns in the preseason games. 

And we're not surprised fullback Aaron Ripkowski is no longer a Packer. Our morning show co-host Bart Winkler predicted that move last week. Ripkowski simply had an average camp, an average performance on special teams, and entering his fourth season, has not really lived up to filling the big shoes left behind by John Kuhn. Fullback is becoming an extinct position in the NFL. 

We're mildly surprised Wisconsin native and former Badger linebacker Vince Biegel was released. Although we had him listed as "on the bubble" two weeks ago, Biegel stepped up his play vs. the Raiders and Chiefs. But the Packers only kept four outside linebackers, and for some reason the coaches are still high on Kyler Fackrell over Biegel as fourth player of that unit. 

No, the two biggest "surprises" of this year's reduction from a possible 90 to 53 roster players came at inside linebacker, and offensive line. 

#54 James Crawford, an undrafted rookie from Illinois, seemingly had a quiet camp. Perhaps always lining up last in the group of linebackers can be deceiving. But honestly Crawford started making plays in camp the final week, and Thursday night in Kansas City against the Chiefs, that had you looking twice at your roster saying "Who is this guy? Did they sign him recently?" I am going to guess he also has tape from his days with the Illini that the scouts will point to as a large part of his story. Crawford beat out two players who definitely "flashed" in training camp practices, #56 Ahmad Thomas, who had interceptions, deflected passes, and #58 Greer Martini, who was always around the football, had two fumble recoveries in games, and plenty of special teams assignments, that lead you to believe either one of them had a shot at making the roster, especially after Jake Ryan was lost for the season with a torn ACL. When the Packers traded for Colts Antonio Morrison, that beefed up the inside linebacker spot behind Blake Martinez, with two years NFL experience, and a physical style of playing more intense than any other player on the field. 

The other eye opener decision was at the offensive line, when #70 Alex Light beat out Adam Pankey for the final spot in that group. However, Light was another player who seemed to get additional reps in the final days of camp, and answered the call both in practice, and in the Chiefs game that the team felt had a slight edge over Pankey. Light is 6-6, 309 lbs. and a 22-year-old undrafted rookie out of Richmond, with size and shape similar to T.J. Lang. 

Offensive tackle Kyle Murphy left the Raiders game with an ankle injury. He was spotted in the locker room wearing a walking boot. The Packers placed "Murph" on the IR, along with two other players, RB Devante Mays, who suffered a pulled hamstring on a touchdown run in practice August 3rd, and the often injured former second round pick Quinten Rollins (hamstring), who was a favorite of the coaches for his hustle and constant effort, but may have played his last snap in Green Bay.  READ MORE

 

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