The Green Bay Packers have decided to part ways with running back Lew Nichols, a recent draft pick made by the team. According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, the Packers reached an injury settlement with Nichols on Thursday — making him a street free agent whenever he recovers from the shoulder injury that kept him sidelined during the preseason.
Nichols was originally waived by Green Bay with an injury designation at cutdowns. After passing through waivers unclaimed, he reverted to the Packers’ injured reserve. General manager Brian Gutekunst, less than five months after turning in a draft card with Nichols’ name on it, has apparently decided that paying out the running back’s 2023 salary is not worth holding onto his rookie contract for 2024 and beyond.
The math on keeping Nichols’ salary might have changed after the breakout of Emanuel Wilson, the undrafted rookie who the Packers signed after the Fort Valley State product was waived by the Denver Broncos in May. Wilson not only led Green Bay in rushing yards this preseason, but he led the entire league.
This Nichols move comes on the heels of the Packers agreeing to injury settlements with three other players on Wednesday: running back Tyler Goodson, safety Tarvarius Moore and long snapper Broughton Hatcher. Once these players are healthy, they would be eligible to re-sign with Green Bay, either on their 53-man roster or on the team’s practice squad.
For Nichols, re-signing with the practice squad may be difficult. The Packers already roster three running backs on their 53-man roster and have Patrick Taylor on the practice squad. It’s uncertain if Green Bay will pursue Nichols’ services once his shoulder heals up.
Now that the seventh-round rookie has been let go, there are only two players remaining on the Packers’ injured reserve: tackle Luke Tenuta and tight end Tyler Davis. Tenuta originally made the team’s 53-man roster, which means that he’ll be coming back to the active roster whenever his ankle injury recovers. Davis tore his ACL during the preseason, which ended his 2023 campaign prematurely.