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Friday Packers Tailgate: on Demetri Goodson, Running Backs, and Return Men

We discuss a handful of roster spots in a quick Friday afternoon Q&A.

Packers CB Demetri Goodson at minicamp
Packers CB Demetri Goodson at minicamp
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

With a slow Friday afternoon helping drag out the work week a little bit longer and the Packers' minicamp all finished, we decided to turn to Twitter for a quick Q&A on the team. Today, we're calling it our Friday Packers Tailgate.

Here are a few of the questions we received on Twitter, along with my responses.

I honestly wish I could say. Unfortunately, the third-year defensive end has not practiced yet this offseason. He took some time off to grieve following his grandmother's unfortunate death, but even after returning to team facilities, he has not made it onto the practice field due to an injury, as noted by ESPN's Rob Demovsky on Wednesday.

My official prediction will be announced when we break down the cornerbacks in a few weeks. However, at this point (and I reserve the right to change my mind) my guess is that Demetri Goodson does indeed make the team. Who's locked in at cornerback? Tramon, Shields, and Hayward are probably the only locks (plus Hyde if you don't want to include him with the safeties), and Davon House is probably pretty safe as well. I would think the Packers would keep those guys plus one more - which would bring it down to Goodson vs. Jarrett Bush vs. Jumal Rolle.

Breaking it down further, it's easy to imagine that the player who plays the best on special teams will win this job, since he shouldn't be seeing the field much on defense unless there are more major injuries. While it's true that the Packers would take a dead money hit of about $433k if they release Bush, the difference between his base salary and that of Goodson's is enough to offset that hit, so financial reasons won't keep Bush in Green Bay over Goodson. I don't have a good reason for thinking this yet, but I have a gut feeling that Goodson will show enough ability on special teams for the team to pick the rookie over the veteran.

Personally, I say the three that most people expect: Eddie Lacy, James Starks, and DuJuan Harris. My prediction might have been different if we had heard any significant noise about Rajion Neal or LaDarius Perkins in OTAs and minicamp, but the only RB who's been making any substantial waves is Harris. Lacy and Starks are guaranteed spots, and I still think Kuhn will be on the team in 2014.

Ultimately, I don't think the Packers will be able to keep more than four backs (including FBs) on the roster due to the likelihood of keeping six wide receivers and probably eight offensive linemen.

This one required a lot of thought, at least on the kick returner side. I really think that fifth-round pick Jared Abbrederis will be the primary option to return punts starting in week one. With Mike McCarthy's desire to see Micah Hyde be a three-down player on defense, there's no reason to put him out there on punt returns as well. I think Abby gets the call early on.

As for kick returns, Abbrederis is no stranger to those from his time in Wisconsin, but I'm not so sure he'll get the job. DuJuan Harris might be an option, as the team tried him out there in minicamp this week. Hyde could still be in the mix there, though I thought he looked more effective returning punts than kickoffs a year ago. Then again, Jeff Janis made an impression on Mike McCarthy in practice on Tuesday as well, and he could be in the mix if he makes the team. I think the race is wide open at the kick return spot, and my gut is telling me that Harris would be a good fit there.


Thanks to those who sent in questions for us - let's do it again sometime!