According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Green Bay Packers brought in offensive linemen Blaise Andries, Myron Cunningham and Ryan Hunter and linebackers Clarence Hicks, Joel Iyiegbuniwe and DQ Thomas in for tryouts on Tuesday. It was announced earlier today that Thomas signed with the Packers and that the corresponding roster move to add him to the team was the release of Travis Fulgham off of the practice squad.
Like Thomas, both Hicks and Iyiebuniwe are off-ball linebackers. It seems as though Green Bay’s tryouts this week were hyper-focused on the positional level. Following the signing of Thomas, the most interesting players the Packers brought in are the offensive linemen.
Currently, Green Bay leads the league with 11 offensive linemen on their 53-man roster. With that being said, the team no longer has a practice squad offensive lineman now that Caleb Jones has been promoted to the active roster.
Eventually, an offensive lineman is going to have to move back down to the practice squad. Jones was only promoted after inside linebacker Krys Barnes was put on the injured reserve list. Currently, the Packers only have three inside linebackers — two of which start defensively — on their 53-man roster. That cannot last. Beyond just the numbers game at inside linebacker, the team also only rosters two running backs on their active roster.
Running back Kylin Hill (physically unable to perform, knee) and Barnes (injured reserve, ankle) will likely return to the 53-man roster at some point during the regular season. Their activations are when the Packers are going to have to take a long look at their offensive line room and make a decision on who to let go.
Last week, Jones and rookie third-round pick Sean Rhyan were healthy scratches against the Chicago Bears, even with left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) still unable to suit up for games. With all that in mind, it’s not a bad idea for Green Bay to bring in some offensive linemen on visits as potential practice squad signings.
If Jones (or Rasheed Walker or Rhyan) is picked up off of waivers whenever Hill and Barnes are activated, the team is going to need a backup plan. That backup plan is likely a yet-to-be-determined future practice squad lineman.