In 2018, with the Green Bay Packers seemingly needing depth at the outside linebacker position, new general manager Brian Gutekunst did not land any free agents, adding only one player to the position group in that year’s NFL Draft. That player, seventh-round pick Kendall Donnerson, was a ridiculous athlete, but coming out of Southeast Missouri State he was a project at the NFL level.
Donnerson went on to spend most of 2018 on the practice squad, earning a late-season call-up to the 53-man roster but never suiting up on gameday. Now, he is officially no longer a Green Bay Packer.
About a week and a half ago, Donnerson was waived with an injured designation, and when he cleared waivers he stuck with the team on injured reserve. A hamstring injury had sidelined Donnerson for much of training camp, as he had not practiced since the opening week. However, now he is free to sign elsewhere, as ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports that he has received an injury settlement from the Packers.
Injury settlements allow an injured player to receive his game checks from the team for a specified period of time into the regular season. The player becomes immediately eligible to sign with another team, but doing so would likely void the Packers’ financial obligations under the settlement. In addition, the Packers could re-sign him, but only after the settlement period plus six weeks has elapsed. Click here for more details on the injury settlement rules.
Odds are that Donnerson’s athletic ability will earn him a spot on a practice squad somewhere in the NFL once his hamstring injury is healed. However, given the Packers’ investments at the position in 2019, adding Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Rashan Gary, it is unlikely that there will be an opportunity for Donnerson again in Green Bay.