Will Redmond injury latest blow to Packers' struggling special teams
GREEN BAY - The summer hasn’t been kind to the Green Bay Packers' special teams units.
First, they lost linebacker Randy Ramsey to a foot injury suffered in practice Aug. 2 and now they are losing defensive back Will Redmond to a foot/toe injury.
As part of the mandatory cutdown to 80 players Tuesday, the Packers placed Redmond on season-long injured reserve. Because the move came before the final cuts, they do not have the option of designating him for return.
Redmond was a member of most of the Packers’ special teams units last year, taking part in 55.8% of the snaps, third most on the team behind Oren Burks (78.5%) and Ty Summers (72.5%). He ranked seventh on the team in tackles with four, but coach Matt LaFleur praised his production.
“His contribution, really, on special teams is he's been consistently our best special teamer over the course of two years here,” LaFleur said before the Packers had announced the move. “He has been an impact player in that phase of the game.”
Redmond also played a role on defense, logging 342 snaps in his role as a hybrid corner/safety.
It’s not known how bad the injury is, but if it doesn’t sideline him the entire season, the Packers could do an injury settlement and re-sign him later in the year. However, they have a group of big, young safeties they like, which includes Vernon Scott, Henry Black, Innis Gaines and Christian Uphoff, all of whom would be expected to contribute heavily on special teams.
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In addition to placing Redmond on injured reserve, the Packers released defensive lineman Josh Avery. Together with the release of linebacker Kamal Martin and tight end Daniel Crawford and the trade of cornerback Ka’dar Hollman to Houston on Monday, the Packers reached the 80-player limit.
The final cut to 53 players must be done by next Tuesday at 3 p.m.
A happy camper
Each of the past two seasons, Gaines tore his ACL (in the same knee), placing his football playing days on hold.
He last played for TCU in 2019, tearing his ACL for the second time in the eighth game of the season. After surgery, he went undrafted in 2020 and didn’t get many workout opportunities, but the Packers took a look Aug. 29, which happens to be his birthday. The Packers liked what they saw but didn’t call him back until January to offer him a spot on their offseason roster.
To make ends meet last year, Gaines delivered food for Door Dash, scheduling his working hours around his daily workouts.
“I couldn’t get a normal job and still work out like I wanted to,” Gaines said. “Any day you could get the call from somebody to come work out. I was like, whatever is the best way to get where I needed in my life, so I had to figure out a way.”
Gaines made a thunderous tackle on Family Night, his first live tackling since college, and he said he got a tingling feeling telling him he was back. He may have to work his way into the NFL through the practice squad, but he said he’s willing to do whatever it takes.
“There hasn’t been too much stress on me,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens. As long as I do my job right every day, that’s all I can control.”