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Packers place Jake Ryan & CJ Johnson on IR and sign free agent running back

Green Bay has officially placed a pair of linebackers on injured reserve but added a second-year runner to the roster.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Green Bay Packers made official a roster move that had been expected for about a week. However, the team also announced another trio of transactions that affect the 90-man roster with a few days to go before their preseason opener.

The first and most notable transaction was to place inside linebacker Jake Ryan on injured reserve. Ryan, a prospective starter at one of the inside spots, tore his ACL in practice last Monday and will miss the entire 2018 season. Because this was the final year of his rookie contract, he is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in the spring.

Ryan was not alone in heading to IR, though; the Packers also sent fellow linebacker C.J. Johnson to injured reserve. Johnson was an undrafted free agent rookie who signed with the Packers out of East Texas Baptist University. Johnson has been sidelined recently with a hamstring issue; this may be a precursor to the team releasing him with an injury settlement.

In addition to the two IR moves, the Packers made a swap on the active roster as well. The team released guard Ethan Cooper after keeping him on the roster for a little less than a month. Cooper was acquired on waivers from the New York Giants in mid-July. To fill that spot, the team signed running back Akeem Judd, who is in his second year out of college, where he played for Ole Miss.

Judd is a relatively stocky running back with decent speed; at Ole Miss’ Pro Day in 2017 he measured in at 5-foot-10-3/4 and 225 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in a reported 4.54 seconds. In two years with the Rebels, Judd recorded 242 carries for 1251 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns, plus 24 receptions for 160 yards (6.7-yard average) and another score. Judd started his college career at Georgia Military College before becoming one of the top junior college recruits in the country for 2014.

After initially signing with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie last spring, Judd was placed on injured reserve after training camp and was waived with an injury settlement a month later. He spent about six weeks on the New York Jets’ practice squad before being promoted to the active roster in mid-December, but he did not dress on gameday. Judd joins a Packers running back corps that currently is without one of its most explosive players in Aaron Jones, who has not practiced in some time with a hamstring issue. Jones is also suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season.