Apparently, the fumble on Sunday was the last straw.
The Green Bay Packers have announced on Tuesday that they are releasing wide receiver and return man Amari Rodgers. The embattled second-year pro out of Clemson has been the subject of much ire from Packers fans this season, and with valid reason — Rodgers has fumbled the football five times this season alone, one on a pass reception and four on returns.
One of those fumbles came on a punt return in Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys, when he coughed up the football near midfield to erase good field position for the Packers. The team then pulled him off punt returns in favor of Keisean Nixon, who took the remainder of the attempts the rest of the game.
Rodgers was a third-round draft pick just 19 months ago in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the Packers selected him with the 85th overall pick. However, he has been unable to crack the lineup on offense as a receiver, getting just 201 snaps over 26 games.
Still, despite challenges finding a role as a receiver, the most frustrating part of Rodgers’ game was his inability to hold on to the football. Over his two seasons, Rodgers fumbled a total of seven times in 89 touches, a number that includes 8 receptions, one rushing attempt, 40 punt returns, 23 fair catches, and 17 kickoff returns.
While the release of Rodgers is surprising based on the Packers’ tendency to stick with their draft picks, the team made another unexpected move, releasing running back Kylin Hill. Hill just returned to action from the physically unable to perform list just two weeks ago, and the Packers waived fellow running back Patrick Taylor and re-signed him to their practice squad to make room for him. Also a 2021 draft pick (a 7th-rounder), Hill served as the Packers’ primary kickoff returner as a rookie before suffering a torn ACL in week 8.
Hill had 10 carries for 24 yards in 2021 along with one reception for 5 yards. His lone snap on offense in 2022 was a seven-yard carry last week in Detroit.
The Packers now have two open spots on their 53-man roster, but those slots may be filled by players coming off injured reserve. Wide receiver Randall Cobb is expected to return this week and could take over some of the punt return duties, while outside linebacker Tipa Galeai may also be ready to return to bolster the pass rush and special teams coverage units. Stay tuned for news on who the team adds to the roster before Thursday’s game.