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Despite a strong performance in training camp, the Green Bay Packers did not make defensive back Kabion Ento a part of their initial 53-man roster. According to Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Packers are releasing Ento on Tuesday.
Ento showed promise as a cover corner, however, there was one pre-requisite he lacked that is required from the position: tackling.
A former wide receiver in college, Ento switched to defense when he entered the pro scene. The physical side proved to be a big challenge for Ento, who was used to dodging tackles as opposed to making them. According to Pro Football Focus, he totaled four missed tackles in three preseason games this summer. PFF handed him a tackling grade lower than 30.0 in two of those outings, an almost inexcusable evaluation.
Ento would have likely been reserved to special teams had he made the Packers roster. Ento flashed during the preseason and even came away with an interception against the Houston Texans. However, he was never going to see the field on defense unless injuries dismantled Green Bay’s cornerback group.
The Packers must have felt that Ento’s shortcomings as a tackler were not worth the risk of trying to implement him on special teams. Green Bay fielded one of the worst special teams groups in the NFL last year and is desperately trying to correct it.
Tackling was a concern last year and also during the 2021 preseason. As a team, PFF totaled 23 missed tackles by the Packers. Ento’s four missed tackles tied for first with safety Innis Gaines. Along with Ento, Gaines was also released on Tuesday.
Green Bay favored Isaac Yiadom over Ento, who the team recently traded for from the New York Giants. A third-round pick in 2018, Yiadom will provide depth to Green Bay’s corner room and is also expected to contribute to special teams.
If there is a silver lining for the former undrafted free agent, Ento’s time with the Packers may not be over. He is a candidate for the practice squad if he is not signed by another team. Sticking around would give Ento the chance to improve on his tackling with the opportunity to sign to the active roster at a later date.