Former Wisconsin Badgers Cole Van Lanen and Danny Davis depart as the Packers get under 80-man roster limit
GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers trimmed their roster to get under the 80-man limit Tuesday and two former University of Wisconsin players were among those with whom they parted ways.
The Packers traded offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen to the Jacksonville Jaguars for an undisclosed draft pick and released receiver Danny Davis, who was recovering from an ankle injury.
In addition, the Packers released injured safety Vernon Scott and placed running back Kylin Hill on the reserve/physically unable to perform list Tuesday.
The club announced the three cuts and the trade of Van Lanen, first reported by ESPN.com, and confirmed by a source.
Once the Van Lanen trade is official, the Packers’ roster will be at 79, one below the limit. They could add a player before they leave Wednesday for their final exhibition game against Kansas City on Thursday night.
Van Lanen, one of the more versatile offensive linemen for the Packers, will get a better chance to play in Jacksonville than he would in Green Bay. He was not in competition for a starting job but he had worked at every position on the offensive line except center, so the Jaguars will be able to plug him where needed.
The Packers drafted the Bay Port High School and University of Wisconsin lineman in the sixth-round of the 2021 draft and, after releasing him at the end of training camp, signed him to the practice squad. He played in one regular-season game as a COVID-19 replacement.
“Cole came into the room and said his goodbyes,” rookie tackle Caleb Jones said. “We all really love Cole. He’s a great guy, even before football or anything else. He’s just a great human being. I’m happy to see him get an opportunity somewhere.”
Davis was coming off a terrific performance in the preseason opener against San Francisco in which he caught two passes for 45 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown. However, he injured his ankle the following week and was unable to take part in the joint practices and second preseason game vs. the New Orleans Saints.
Davis will likely reach an injury settlement and could be signed to the practice squad at a later date.
Scott, meanwhile, injured his pec against the Saints on Friday and the early prognosis was that he would be sidelined for a considerable time. The Packers will negotiate an injury settlement with him, which will allow him to become a free agent and give the Packers a chance to re-sign him later in the season.
Scott was competing for the No. 3 position at safety behind starters Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage and was considered a solid special-teams player. The 2020 seventh-round draft choice played in 15 games as a rookie but appeared in just three last year.
With Scott gone, Shawn Davis and Dallin Leavitt have the inside track for the No. 3 spot, although Leavitt is recovering from a shoulder injury and the coaches began using cornerback Rasul Douglas at safety in certain situations in practice Tuesday.
The Packers also like Innis Gaines, who is listed as a safety but has been working as a slot cornerback mostly.
The decision to keep Hill on PUP wasn’t a huge surprise given he was less than 10 months removed from tearing the ACL in his right knee. The Packers were very high on Hill and had been using him as a kickoff returner when he got hurt last season.
Hill said general manager Brian Gutekunst told him about the decision and he understood why it was made. He said he feels he is running and cutting and making good progress.
“I’m feeling great,” he said.
Hill will be ineligible to play for the first four games of the season and won't count against the 53-man roster. He can begin practicing anytime after the four weeks and has up to three weeks after that point to activate him or put him on PUP for the rest of the season.