With four games now in the books, the Green Bay Packers can look forward to the return of defensive lineman Mike Pennel and cornerback/special teamer Demetri Goodson. While each return could help improve parts of the roster, the team must make corresponding moves at some point in order to make room. That means releasing players currently on the fringes of the 53-man roster.
Though the Packers could elect to leave their roster untouched and sever ties with the players coming off suspension, that doesn’t appear likely. When healthy, Mike Pennel has served in a de facto starting role on the defensive front. The lack of depth along the defensive line and Letroy Guion’s knee injury further underscores the need for Pennel’s presence. Back in the secondary, the continued absence of top cornerback Sam Shields and the more recent injury issues for Damarious Randall could make Goodson’s return a necessity as well.
So who might the Packers cut to make room for Pennel and Goodson? Here are the top candidates:
Joe Callahan, QB
It came as a surprise when the Packers decided to keep third-string quarterback Joe Callahan on the season-opening roster, especially with the progression of second-year man Brett Hundley. However, the team apparently thought enough of the former D-III signal-caller to not risk placing him on waivers.
Five weeks later, Callahan has yet to appear in a game and the chance of another team claiming him appears greatly diminished. The Packers don’t need three quarterbacks on the 53 and can place him on the practice squad if and when he clears waivers.
Jared Abbrederis, WR
Cover your eyes, Bucky fans. While the former Wisconsin standout left quite an impression during the preseason, he has played extremely sparingly during the regular season. On Sunday, the Packers gave snaps to literally every healthy pass catcher on the roster except for Abbrederis, further reinforcing his place at the bottom of the offensive totem pole.
If the Packers aren’t going to use Abbrederis, it doesn’t make much sense to keep him on the roster, especially with six other wideouts available.
Brian Price, DL
Last one in, first one out? That could potentially be the case with rookie defensive lineman Brian Price, who joined the 53-man roster in advance of Week 3. The Packers left Price inactive on Sunday, and could determine that he doesn’t offer enough to warrant a job with Pennel back in the fold.
That doesn’t mean Green Bay has to fully sever ties with Price, however. He could re-join the team’s practice squad if he clears waivers, a fact that could make his potential departure easier to stomach.