Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reported on Thursday that Osirus Mitchell, who was waived with an injury designation on Wednesday, was placed on the Green Bay Packers’ injured reserve on Thursday after clearing waivers. When a player is waived with an injury designation, another team can claim him to their 90-man offseason roster. The Packers waived Mitchell (and long snapper Steven Wirtel) yesterday as a corresponding roster move to adding running back Dexter Williams and safety Micah Abernathy before the squad’s Week 1 preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday.
There is a fork in the road moving forward with Mitchell, though, as he has options. Now that he is on the Packers’ injured reserve list, he can either stay on the injured reserve for the season (or at least most of the season) or take an injury settlement and join another club this season when he is healthy. Mitchell’s injury is a quad injury that popped up before last Wednesday’s practice, which doesn’t seem like something that should cost him all of the 2022 season.
Mitchell joined the Packers after playing in the USFL for the Birmingham Stallions this spring, where he recorded 47 receptions for 331 yards and three touchdowns. While it doesn’t appear that the team has the intentions to play Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins or Randall Cobb in the 2022 preseason, with Christian Watson’s situation questionable due to a knee injury, the squad still has Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers, Juwann Winfree, Malik Taylor, Samori Toure, Danny Davis and Ishmael Hyman to round out the receiver position during the three-week preseason.
I wouldn’t expect them to add a 12th receiver to the roster in the absence of Mitchell, as roster cuts start next Tuesday when the Packers have to drop down their 90-man roster to 85 players. The team worked out 17 players on Tuesday: eight specialists, five running backs, and two offensive linemen and defensive backs a piece. Among them were Williams and Abernathy, but there was no Mitchell replacement in sight.
As a reminder, Mitchell can return from injured reserve to the 53-man roster after Week 4, a move that is highly unlikely to be made. He could be designated to return, get waived and then join the team’s practice squad, though, which is the most likely way we see him in a Packers uniform again. In 2022, each NFL team will have the opportunity to activate up to eight players from the injured reserve list during the season after they miss at least a four-game stretch of play.