The Green Bay Packers announced on Monday that they have released quarterback Danny Etling from the practice squad. Etling was signed to the practice squad the previous Tuesday following Jordan Love’s placement on the reserve/Covid-19 list and the promotion of Kurt Benkert to the 53-man roster.
The assumption is that when Love can return as the team’s backup quarterback, Benkert will return to the practice squad. Benkert, who has been in the league since 2018, saw his first game action on Sunday when he kneeled out the Packers’ win against the Chicago Bears, upon the suggestion of starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
W. #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/M91y5v32GD— Kurt Benkert (@KurtBenkert) December 13, 2021
The team also worked out receiver Josh Malone on Monday, per NFL reporter Aaron Wilson. Malone, a former high school All-American, declared for the draft early after three years at Tennessee that saw him post 104 receptions for 1,608 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading to him being selected in the fourth round. After spending two years with the Cincinnati Bengals, he spent three years with the New York Jets, both as a member of the 53-man roster and the practice squad. Most recently, he spent a week on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad in October.
Malone, who ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash at the combine, has only recorded 11 receptions in his NFL career but did return seven kicks for the Jets over four games in 2020. Malone had not returned a single kick return since at least his high school days prior to 2020, as he had not recorded a kick return previously in his NFL career nor in his college days with the Volunteers.
With pick 128 in the 2017 NFL Draft, the #Bengals selected Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) June 14, 2019
He posted a good #RAS with great size, great speed, poor explosiveness, okay agility at the WR position.#Bengals pic.twitter.com/j4gcaIR9e6
The 6’3”, 205-pounder could be a candidate to assist the special teams unit moving forward, as receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and Malik Taylor left Sunday’s game against Chicago with injuries. Taylor, who has been returning kicks since running back Kylin Hill was placed on injured reserve, also returned a ball that led to the offense starting a drive on their five-yard-line against Chicago, less than what one would expect for an NFL returnman.