* = starter; + = roster spot
* Mason Crosby (kicker)
* Jacob Schum (punter)
* Rick Lovato (long snapper)
There have been some surprising developments here as of late.
All summer, we had the prospect of a possible replacement for the oft-maligned Tim Masthay in Peter Mortell. They both battled hard, and Mortell even looked like he could finally displace the player many in Packerland have called for the team to move on from. Once Mortell was dropped for the 75 cutoff, though, it appeared Masthay would once again survive to bring despair to the fanbase.
Then, out of nowhere, he was gone. All of a sudden, the long-time Green Bay punter lost his spot, replaced with an unknown off waivers from the Bucs in Schum.
On the surface, this doesn’t make much sense, no matter how much Masthay may have disappointed. Schum has just one season under his belt, and his raw punting stats all fall short of what Masthay managed last season. This feels like a case where the team just really felt they needed to try something new, and maybe a newer, younger face could turn around a spot that is extremely hard to judge purely on the numbers. Things definitely felt stagnant at best with Masthay, who improved on his raw totals but was too inconsistent at the worst times. Hopefully Schum can prove himself a more consistently reliable option; for now, he’s all the team has at the spot.
Lovato did a decent job after being picked up to replace the injured Brett Goode at long snapper towards the end of last year. Goode could return at some point, but it is unlikely; with his ACL tear coming so late in the year, it could be awhile until he’s fully ready to contribute well again. The team also just brought in rookie long snapper Ryan DiSalvo for a workout, but for now he hasn’t been signed; should he be offered a contract, that likely means he’s replacing Lovato. Until a contract goes out for a competitor however, it’s Lovato’s job.
The one who has had nothing to worry about on this unit is Crosby. He’s continued to be a steadfast presence since he recovered from an awful 2013, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t keep on doing so in 2016.