The Green Bay Packers have set their (initial) 53-man roster and the countdown to Week 1 has begun.
There is always at least one surprise cut and for Green Bay that first one was offensive lineman Ben Braden. Many assumed Braden would make the roster after playing in six games (including two playoff contests) last year and was in competition to start at right guard this year during camp. Instead he’s off the roster and Jake Hanson is on it.
Then came the news David Bakhtiari will start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning he is missing at least the first six games of the season and perhaps more as he can’t practice again until he comes off the list. This means it’s Elgton Jenkins time at left tackle in the interim.
The stream of roster cuts was interrupted late in the morning when news came out that the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay’s Week 1 opponent, would most likely not be able to use the Superdome or even return to the city for at least a month thanks to the devastation from Hurricane Ida.
Alternate sites for the game are being explored with Dallas’ AT&T Stadium initially being mentioned as the likely site before a concert schedule for that same week all but eliminated that choice. There is still no word on where the game will be played.
The final surprise of the day came when the Packers not only made a change at punter but did so via a trade in acquiring Corey Bojorquez from the Los Angeles Rams and releasing incumbent JK Scott.
More roster moves will be made in the coming days as teams scour the waiver wire and practice squads are assembled but for the most part, these are your 2021 Green Bay Packers.
One area where there was no doubt about was running back. Kylin Hill grabbed the third running back spot in preseason and wouldn’t relax his grip at all. There could be big things coming from this group.
While losing Bakhtiari is a bummer, it was really the right call. Jenkins will be just fine protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blind side. The questions start at right tackle where Billy Turner and/or Dennis Kelly will likely occupy that spot depending on Kelly’s health.
This list was generated before many cuts were made, but there are some names here that would be nice to keep around. Kurt Benkert, Christian Uphoff, and Tipa Galeai would be great developmental players that could have larger roles in 2022.
The Packers will face the Saints on September 12 at a neutral site in all likelihood thanks to Hurricane Ida but the big question is where? There are questions as to whether it has to be an NFL facility or not so college stadiums could be in play.
This is a rather morbid way to teach your cow “you’d better behave or THIS is where you could end up and I mean on the menu, not as an employee!”