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Packers announce the release of 2 players, claim TE Nate Becker off of waivers

Becker has played with three NFL teams over his four seasons in the league, most recently with the Carolina Panthers.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers announced on Monday that they have officially released offensive lineman Cole Schneider and cornerback Donte Vaughn. Schneider has been battling an ankle injury that has kept him in a walking boot up until yesterday. Vaughn, who also wasn’t healthy enough to practice on Monday, has been dealing with a hamstring. Both were recently seen working out with the rehab group alongside the practice field.

Schneider was a swing interior offensive lineman for the Packers, suiting up at both the center and guard positions. He was signed by the team as an undrafted free agent this offseason.

Vaughn was picked up by the team in July. He had previously spent the 2020 season on the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad before failing to make it on the 53-man roster or practice squad with a new staff in 2021.

Soon after those releases were announced by the team, Field Yates of ESPN broke the news that the Packers also claimed tight end Nate Becker via the Carolina Panthers. With the cuts of Schneider, Vaughn and the unofficial release of Randy Ramsey and the signing of Becker, the Packers’ 90-man roster should now sit at 88 players going into Tuesday’s deadline of a 85-man roster. The team will need to make at least three more roster moves to get in under the deadline.

Becker started his career as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions, a stint that lasted just two days, before he signed with the Buffalo Bills a month later. He was able to hang on the team as a practice squad player for two seasons, including a one-week call-up in Week 17 of 2020 when he was activated to the gameday roster. He played 30 snaps offensively and four snaps on special teams in that game.

Unable to make the Bills’ final roster in 2021, Becker was released and did not sign with a team until he caught on with the Panthers on August 11th. Yesterday, August 14th, he was waived by the team. According to the Panthers’ official website, Becker played 15 offensive snaps and no special teams snaps in their preseason opener against the Washington Commanders last week, with little practice under his belt.

Becker will have to compete for playing time in a fairly crowded tight end room, as the recently-activated Robert Tonyan adds to Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Tyler Davis, Dominique Dafney — who just returned from injury, Alize Mack — who got a start on kickoff team in Week 1 of the preseason, and Sal Cannella.

For what it’s worth, all three of Green Bay’s reported releases on Monday have a chance to be waived with an injury designation, which would allow the team to either place the player(s) on the injured reserve list — like they did with Osirus Mitchell — or to give the player(s) an injury settlement, should they clear waivers. Yesterday, the team waived kicker Gabe Brkic with an injury designation, though, his claimed or unclaimed status has yet to be reported.