On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers announced that offensive tackle Luke Tenuta was placed on injured reserve, a move that was expected. As Green Bay had not rostered a long snapper on its initial 53-man roster, the assumption was that the team was going to put one of the players who made the “final” cut on short-term injured reserve in order to make a roster spot for the re-signing of long snapper Matthew Orzech before the Packers played in Week 1.
That’s exactly what the team did today, as they also announced Orzech’s re-signing. Tenuta was originally a draft pick for the Buffalo Bills who was later claimed by the Indianapolis Colts. In October of last season, the Packers claimed Tenuta off of waivers after he was let go by the Colts. From that point on, the Virginia Tech product stuck on Green Bay’s 53-man roster, playing sparingly on special teams.
Tenuta is viewed as a “redshirt” candidate behind the tackle group made up of David Bakhtiari, Zach Tom, Rasheed Walker, Yosh Nijman and Caleb Jones. Tenuta is currently dealing with an ankle injury, which led to him being carted off the field in the preseason opener this summer.
The Packers also filled out their practice today with the signing of inside linebacker Kristian Welch. Previously, Green Bay had not had an inside linebacker on their practice squad and only had four total inside linebackers at practice following the release of Tariq Carpenter on Wednesday.
Welch, who was born and raised in Iola, Wisconsin, spent the last three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. There, the undrafted product played 891 snaps of special teams and 44 snaps of defense for the team. If the Packers ever get low on tight end or inside linebacker bodies, Welch could be a practice squad call-up to help on the kickoff, kickoff return and/or punt units.
Interestingly, Green Bay didn’t keep that final practice squad spot open for either Carpenter or defensive lineman Jonathan Ford, the two former draft picks that the team cut yesterday. Both players initially made the team’s 53-man roster, which means that they’d likely be welcomed back to the practice squad, as long as they go unclaimed on waivers. With that in mind, there could be two more cuts to the team’s practice squad coming in the near future — in order to make room for Carpenter and Ford.