The Green Bay Packers trimmed their roster to 53 players on August 31, 2012. As far as releasing players, the Packers didn't have any major surprises. What was surprising was the amount of players that were retained at certain positions.
Here are some observations about their moves. A complete roster has been attached.
Survived: Jarrett Boykin
Barring trades, the Packers will start the season with six wide receivers. Jarrett Boykin made enough of an impression to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. Through three preseason games, Boykin had 13 receptions for 166 yards. At 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, Boykin has a large frame with strong hands. He's also effective in yards after catch (YAC).
Released: Daniel Muir
The Kansas City Chiefs rushed for 247 yards on 44 carries in the preseason finale. Daniel Muir was a non-factor as a nose tackle. I think that undid all of his positives from training camp. The Packers just can't trust him on Sunday. Phillip Merling also has more potential.
Survived: Brad Jones
Vic So'oto was placed on injured reserve (IR). That created another opportunity for Brad Jones to make the team. However, Jones is a slow linebacker who is oft-injured. When Erik Walden returns from his suspension in Week 2, I wouldn't be surprised if Jones were released.
Survived: 11 Defensive Backs
Ted Thompson isn't afraid to keep an unconventional amount of players at certain positions. In 2011, Thompson kept 10 linebackers and five tight ends. Before that, he kept three fullbacks.
The Packers will start 2012 with 11 defensive backs. This includes six cornerbacks and five safeties. Sean Richardson and Brandian Ross both made the team. By keeping Ross, the Packers may not be confident in Davon House's short-term health or long-term health. I'm happy that Richardson made the team. He showed an ability to be around the football.
Seven Offensive Linemen
The Packers only kept two reserve offensive linemen. Those players are Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay. Barclay is an undrafted rookie out of West Virginia. Dietrich-Smith is the backup center and guard.
The Packers would almost certainly add an eighth offensive lineman. Their starters are too injury prone. I wouldn't be surprised if a defensive back were traded.
Erik Walden Doesn't Count Against 53-Man Roster
Erik Walden will start the season on the suspended list. Before Walden can return, the Packers must either release a player or move somebody to IR. Expect a roster transaction before Week 2.
Mike Neal (DE)
Erik Walden (LB)
Reserve/Physically Unable To Perform (PUP)
Derek Sherrod (OL)
Andrew Quarless (TE)
Frank Zombo (LB)
Jaymes Brooks (OL)
Desmond Bishop (LB)
Vic So'oto (LB)
Du'ane Bennett (RB)
Johnny Jones (DL)
Eric Lair (TE)
Mike McCabe (OL)
QB (2): Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell
RB (5): Cedric Benson, John Kuhn, James Starks, Alex Green, Brandon Saine
WR (6): Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Donald Driver, Jarrett Boykin
TE (4): Jermichael Finley, Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams, Ryan Taylor
OL (Starters, 5): Bryan Bulaga, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, Jeff Saturday, Marshall Newhouse
OL (Reserve, 2): Evan Dietrich-Smith, Don Barclay
DL (6): B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Jerel Worthy, Mike Daniels, Phillip Merling, C.J. Wilson
LB (Starters, 4): Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, D.J. Smith, A.J. Hawk
LB (Reserves, 5): Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore, Dezman Moses, Terrell Manning, Brad Jones
CB (6): Tramon Williams, Jarrett Bush, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Sam Shields, Brandian Ross
S (5): Charles Woodson, Morgan Burnett, Jerron McMillian, M.D. Jennings, Sean Richardson
ST (3): Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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