If the Green Bay Packers had known tight end Dominique Dafney was headed to injured reserve a few days earlier, former third-round draft pick Jace Sternberger might still be on the roster. Instead, the Packers
Coming off a two-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Sternberger needed to be released or returned to the 53-man roster last Tuesday, the day after the Packers’ week two contest. However, with the team thinking that they had a full tight end room — with Josiah Deguara ready to return from a concussion to join Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, and Dominique Dafney — there was simply no room for Sternberger, and so they released him.
Then, two days later in Thursday’s practice, Dafney suffered a hip injury that landed him on injured reserve over the weekend. It was unfortunate timing for Sternberger, and it has also forced the Packers to look elsewhere for another option at tight end. On Tuesday this week, they plucked a player off another team’s practice squad to serve as TE4, signing Tyler Davis away from the Indianapolis Colts.
A former 6th-round draft pick of the Jaguars’ in 2020, Davis saw action in eight games as a rookie, playing 40 snaps on offense and another 76 on defense. He was targeted twice in the passing game but did not record a reception. Davis spent the 2021 offseason and training camp in Jacksonville on his rookie contract before the Jaguars released him at final cuts, prompting him to land on the practice squad in Indianapolis.
Although the Packers had an open roster spot due to Dafney’s move to injured reserve, they opened up another spot on the 53 on Tuesday as well. The team placed defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the first player the team has put on that list during the 2021 regular season. Lancaster’s position coach, Jerry Montgomery, missed the Packers’ week two game against the Detroit Lions, reportedly due to COVID-19 protocols, so it is notable that one of his players is now showing up on the list. Still, Montgomery, who is vaccinated along with the rest of the Packers’ coaching staff, did return to the team in time for week three’s game in San Francisco.
If Lancaster is vaccinated and is not showing symptoms of COVID-19, he would need two consecutive negative tests to allow him to return to action. Therefore, there is at least a chance that he may be able to suit up for the Packers for their upcoming game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.