Packers stay in-house, bring back 10 of their own players for practice squad

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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GREEN BAY – The faces were all familiar Sunday when the Green Bay Packers gathered to begin preparation for the regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears.

The Packers did not add a single player to their 53-man roster through waiver claims and all 10 players they signed to the practice squad were in their training camp this summer and released on the cut down to 53.

Thus, the coaching staff does not have to carve out extra time to provide crash courses to roster newcomers.

"We’re constantly looking at the roster, but certainly it’ll give us a jump on today’s practice," coach Matt LaFleur said. "There’s no doubt about it."

NFL teams were able to begin signing players to their practice squad at noon Sunday and the Packers announced their official list about two hours after that.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst, and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talk during a team practice at the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 in Ashwaubenon, Wis.

Signed were:

» Tight end Evan Baylis

»  Running back Tra Carson

» Cornerback Kabion Ento

» Wide receiver Allen Lazard

» Defensive lineman James Looney

» Tackle Yosh Nijman

» Outside linebacker Randy Ramsey

» Inside linebacker Brady Sheldon

» Receiver Malik Taylor

» Quarterback Manny Wilkins

"Obviously it's a little nerve-wracking because there is so much uncertainty and unknown but it's all part of the game, man, and obviously I was happy I was able to stay here and kept some continuity of learning an offense and continuing to be in the same system," Wilkins said. "It's good. I'm happy to be here, I'm happy to be able to help out these guys are ready to go."

Wilkins had some options to join another practice squad, as did Lazard, but both elected that staying in Green Bay was best for them. They also know they are on the verge of being on the active 53-man roster at any point.

"Absolutely," Lazard said. "Just like last year (with the Jacksonville and Green Bay practice squads). I took every week serious just like the starters do, so I prepare the same way. Study the playbook, get to know the install and person I'll be going against and just stay ready and hopeful."

Only two players the Packers placed on waivers were claimed by other teams: quarterback DeShone Kizer (Oakland) and defensive back Natrell Jamerson (Carolina).

As a result, the Packers were able to get just about everybody they wanted back onto their practice squad. An exception appeared to be guard Adam Pankey, who signed with the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad and was being considered for their 53-man roster.

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