The Green Bay Packers have shuffled up their running back room this weekend in response to a bit of a surprise decision from one of their recently-signed players at the position. Akeem Judd, who was signed to the team’s roster between Family Night and the Packers’ preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans, has apparently retired from football; the Packers announced that they have placed him on the Reserve/Retired list, removing him from the 90-man roster.
Head coach Mike McCarthy had made some positive comments about Judd so far in camp, as he showed some encouraging signs during game action in the Packers’ two preseason wins to this point. No details have been reported about Judd’s decision.
With two roster spots available, the Packers elected to bring two new runners aboard to help fill Judd’s position — as well as to add bodies to take some additional snaps with projected starter Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones banged up. The first player to sign with Green Bay this weekend was LeShun Daniels, who is in his second year in the NFL. Daniels spent his rookie offseason and training camp with the New England Patriots in 2017 before being cut at the end of camp. He ended up playing in a few games for Washington late last season, recording three carries for 14 yards.
Daniels, who played college ball for the Iowa Hawkeyes, posted solid seasons as a junior (646 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns) and senior (1058 yards, 10 touchdowns) while playing in backfield timeshares. He measured in at 5-foot-11 and 222 pounds at Iowa’s Pro Day, running the 40-yard dash in a reported 4.57 seconds.
The Judd and Daniels transactions took place on Saturday, but the Packers were not done. On Sunday, the team filled another open roster spot with another runner, Bronson Hill. After entering the NFL in 2015, Hill has been on eight different teams’ rosters in some capacity, getting five games of regular season game action with the Jacksonville Jaguars three games in 2016) and the Arizona Cardinals (two games in 2017). In total, he has recorded three carries for nine yards.
Hill’s college football came at Eastern Michigan, where he recorded two straight years with over 1100 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns. Those years came as a sophomore and junior, before he was relegated to a timeshare in a poor offense as a senior. Hill is similar in size to Daniels, but he appears to have better pure speed; his Pro Day results show a measurement of 5-foot-10 and 221 pounds with a 4.47-second 40-yard dash.