Packers cut roster to 75 players
GREEN BAY - On the day NFL rosters must be trimmed to 75, the Green Bay Packers' 53-man depth chart started to gain clarity.
Among players the Packers dropped from their active roster Tuesday were running back John Crockett, tight end Kennard Backman and tight end Mitchell Henry. The Packers also traded outside linebacker Lerentee McCray to the Buffalo Bills for an undisclosed 2018 draft pick.
Crockett, Backman, Henry, guard Josh Walker and center Jacob Flores were placed on injured reserve. The Packers released receiver Harvey Binford. Their roster currently has 75 players, the league maximum as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.
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Crockett was the Packers’ presumptive third tailback before injuring his shoulder in Friday night’s exhibition at the San Francisco 49ers. A league source said the injury will sideline him at least one month and maybe two.
Without Crockett, the Packers could add undrafted rookie Brandon Burks to their 53-man roster as a third tailback. It would be the second straight year the Packers broke camp with an undrafted rookie on their backfield depth chart.
Outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott also is in good shape to make the 53-man roster after McCray was traded to the Bills.
Backman injured his right hamstring while blocking on a kickoff return against the 49ers. He will also need his left knee scoped after playing and practicing through pain the past couple weeks, according to a league source.
Henry broke his finger for the second straight year.
Without Backman and Henry, the Packers will likely keep three tight ends: Jared Cook, Richard Rodgers and Justin Perillo.
Perillo has survived a war of attrition to place himself in position for the third tight end job. While Backman injured his knee, fellow tight end Mitchell Henry has been out with a broken finger.
It is rare for general manager Ted Thompson to release a drafted player so quickly, but not unprecedented. A year ago, the Packers released defensive tackle Khyri Thornton before his second season. Thornton was a third-round pick in 2014, while Backman was a sixth-round pick in 2015.
Backman made the Packers' 53-man roster last season, something fellow 2015 sixth rounder Christian Ringo did not. After spending last season on the practice squad, Ringo is in the running to earn a job on the interior defensive line this summer.
- Michael Cohen contributed to this report