Currently On Active Roster
Geronimo Allison has been on the roster since the Atlanta game. He hasn’t seen much action, but that was to be expected; there are too many different guys at receiver, and when the top three guys are healthy they are going to see almost all of those snaps. Still, as the snap counts have gone down for most of the younger players in this late playoff push, he’s still garnering a few per game while someone like Trevor Davis is seeing none. He probably won’t do more than a catch in a game or two from here, but it is a positive thing for his future with the team that he’s getting at least a little time while a drafted player like Davis is not. It could portend to him having a slight edge in future roster battles.
Kentrell Brice was picking up a bundle of snaps each game for awhile there, giving the Packers about 18 snaps a game to help Green Bay try to survive the injuries and ineffectiveness hitting them at linebacker and cornerback. Unfortunately, he wasn’t all that great himself out there, grading out as below average in both run and pass defense. Against Philadelphia and Houston, his role was reduced to nothing on defense and he’s been limited on special teams as well. With the linebacker spot suffering more than ever right now though, more “Big Nickel” formations could be on the horizon, using Brice in the fashion we saw earlier in the year.
Against Seattle, he found himself back on the field for a handful of snaps (17) and even managed to pick up the fumble by the Seahawks at the end. Unless Martinez returns with full force for the final three weeks, that sort of role seems like what Brice should end the year on.
Makinton Dorleant became the surprising choice for who the Packers wanted to bring back from injured reserve with their one such designation of the season. He may not be Eddie Lacy or Sam Shields, but he could end up being important in his own right. Until the past couple games the other guys in the secondary have had struggles all year even when healthy, and having not just another healthy body but someone with a level of athletic ability to help him make up for some of the mistakes a young player like himself surely will end up facing could bring an overall positive impact to the team down the stretch. If someone else gets hurt again or plays terribly in the coming games — both are distinct possibilities — Dorleant may get a chance to surprise people.
Marwin Evans has been a mostly positive special teams contributor for Green Bay; really, he’s probably one of the better guys in that facet for the team. When looking for who made a key early tackle on a return or properly downed the ball on a punt, it has tended to be him, Janis, and Fackrell whose names pop up; unlike Janis or someone like Josh Hawkins (more coming on him next) though, he hasn’t been prone to adding on damaging penalties during his efforts. He should continue to do well in this current role.
Josh Hawkins has basically just been a special teams guy all year, and his high-variance play in that area has been a little frustrating. On one punt, he’ll make a quick tackle, stopping the returner in his tracks; the next, he’ll take a bad angle and miss, giving the returner a clear path for a decent return. Both sides of the coin showed themselves against Houston and Seattle, and it seems equally likely on every play that either could be what ends up happening.
Hopefully he can trend more towards the positive for the final three games; a bad play might be the final straw that breaks a game, and Green Bay has no more room for error left.
Joe Kerridge was brought up to the active roster a few games ago; in those he hasn’t done much — expectedly so, with another fullback on the roster already — but he has seen a few snaps in those games as part of the myriad formations the team has used in recent games. His usage shouldn’t go above that, but he could still see that sort of action as the season comes to a close.
Sent To Injured Reserve
Don Jackson had a chance to step in at running back once injuries destroyed Green Bay’s depth at the spot. He never was able to do much in the few snaps he was given however, and then an injury cut short his time this year. After this season ends though he could still be a guy who fights for a roster spot next year, especially with the future of that position completely up in the air at every level.
Notables Names On Practice Squad
Joe Callahan was released from the 53-man roster earlier this season, with the hope he would make it to Green Bay’s practice squad. He didn’t. New Orleans grabbed him up quickly. They ended up cutting him, which let the Browns grab him. They also cut him. When nobody else grabbed him, the Packers were able to bring back the promising developmental quarterback to their practice squad, and he’ll hopefully be able to stay around this time so he can stick on as a possible backup for the future.
Jermaine Whitehead suffered from a bad showing in the Tennessee game much like Davis; unlike Davis though, he got cut for his bad play. Green Bay does still like him enough to keep him around in some facet however, so he returned to the practice squad. With health returning for members of the secondary, he shouldn’t be needed anymore this season, but could be one of those guys who fights his way right back onto the roster in 2017.
Reggie Gilbert and Derrick Matthews have not yet been brought to the active roster, but either one of these guys could possibly get a call-up. Injuries to both the inside and outside linebackers have left those spots in dire need of healthy bodies, and with the Pennel suspension there is already a spot open for one of them. My initial thought would be Gilbert gets that nod (if anyone does), but if Martinez has a setback Matthews may be the pick which helps them more.