Rookie running back Lew Nichols won’t spend the 2023 season on the injured reserve of the Green Bay Packers. The team officially waived Nichols with an injury settlement on Thursday, a transaction that removed him from injured reserve but also opened the door for Nichols — who missed a significant portion of training camp with a shoulder injury — to eventually return.
Nichols, a seventh-round pick in 2023, was waived/injured at final cutdowns, cleared waivers and reverted to injured reserve. The Packers had two paths forward: reach an injury settlement, or let Nichols spend the season on injured reserve. The team picked an injury settlement, which will pay Nichols an agreed upon amount over an agreed upon period of time before he’s then free to sign with another team and play this season.
The Packers could still bring him back. The one caveat: Nichols can’t sign with any team until his injury settlement expires, and even then, he’d have to wait another three weeks before he’s eligible to sign back with the Packers. But the option now exists for Nichols to return, possibly on the practice squad later in the season.
Nichols, who led the FBS in rushing yards in 2021, was the 235th pick in the 2023 draft. He was in competition with the likes of Patrick Taylor andTyler Goodson for the third running back job to open training camp, but both Nichols and Goodson got injured and Emanuel Wilson — who signed with the Packers in May — won the job with a terrific preseason in which he led the NFL in rushing yards. The Packers kept Taylor on the practice squad and eventually waived Goodson, who also received an injury settlement and could return. Nichols did not play during the preseason.
By reaching an injury settlement with Nichols, the Packers have cleared their injured reserve coming out of training camp. Tyler Davis suffered a season-ending injury and will spend the entire season on injured reserve, while Luke Tenuta made the initial 53-man roster before being placed on injured reserve, giving him a chance to return after the minimum of four weeks.