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Packers waive Jason Spriggs and add another running back in Keith Ford

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Green Bay’s GM cut loose an highly-criticized former second-round draft pick.

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

In 2016, the Green Bay Packers and general manager Ted Thompson made a significant move up in the NFL Draft. Thompson, with his eye on a certain player and in an apparent attempt to get ahead of the Chicago Bears, traded up to one spot ahead of the Bears’ pick at #49 overall. Thompson gave up picks in the fourth and seventh rounds to move up nine spots from 57 to 48.

Then, he used the pick on Jason Spriggs, an offensive tackle, a pick that has not panned out by any estimation.

Now, on August 6th before Spriggs’ fourth NFL season, new general manager Brian Gutekunst has decided to move on from the Indiana product. The Packers announced that they have waived Spriggs with an injury designation, effectively ending his career with the team before the final season of his rookie contract.

When the team drafted Spriggs, they seemingly viewed him as a tackle of the future. However, the team played him primarily at guard during his rookie year as right tackle Bryan Bulaga and left tackle David Bakhtiari both suited up for all 16 games. Spriggs then spent half of his 2017 campaign on injured reserve, though he started five games at right tackle in relief of Bulaga, and he started twice in 2018 at that same position.

However, Spriggs frequently struggled during preseason action at both tackle positions, even at times when playing against second-string competition. He recently suffered a trapezius injury, which appears to be the reason for his release. Spriggs could be placed on injured reserve if he clears waivers, but because he would go on IR before the final 53-man roster cut-down, he would not be eligible to return this year.

This move likely leaves Alex Light as the primary backup at left tackle, with Billy Turner seemingly the top option to fill in at right tackle if necessary. Gerhard de Beer and Yosh Nijman are possible dark horse options to earn a backup spot as well.

Meanwhile, the Packers filled their open roster spot by adding yet another running back. Green Bay claimed Keith Ford on waivers from the Indianapolis Colts. Ford played college football at Oklahoma and Texas A&M, finishing with a 4.9 yards-per-carry average and 24 rushing touchdowns in his college career. Ford began his NFL career in 2018 with the Buffalo Bills, who signed him as an undrafted free agent following that year’s draft and held him on the practice squad for most of the season. He carried the football 21 times for 79 yards in two games at the end of last season.