Packers place veteran defensive lineman Dean Lowry on injured reserve with calf injury
GREEN BAY – The season has ended for Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Dean Lowry.
The team’s ironman along the defensive front (101 consecutive games) was put on injured reserve Tuesday after suffering a calf injury against the Miami Dolphins.
Lowry, who ranked second on the defensive line with 43 tackles, had started all 62 games over the past four seasons. He had 8½ sacks and 10 passes batted down during that span.
Lowry’s playing time had slipped slightly as first-round draft pick Devonte Wyatt started to see an increase in snaps, but he was still an integral part of the defense, playing both end in the base defense and tackle in the nickel.
Wyatt has started to come along at the right time considering Lowry’s injury.
He played a career-high 24 snaps in the 26-20 victory over the Dolphins, finishing with an assisted tackle and a quarterback hit, as well as drawing a holding call. Wyatt and second-year pro T.J. Slaton filled in after Lowry bowed out after seven snaps, and one of the two will move into the starting line up in the base defense.
It’s likely Wyatt will see more time as a pass rusher in nickel situations.
Lowry is in the final year of his contract and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March.
Packers sign receiver Bo Melton to 53-man roster
In addition to placing Lowry on injured reserve, the Packers signed wide receiver Bo Melton off the Seattle Seahawks practice squad to their 53-man roster.
Melton, a sixth-round pick from Rutgers, hasn’t played for the Seahawks this season.
He clocked the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the combine and has experience as a kick returner and gunner on punt coverage. His addition may be connected to the groin injury Keisean Nixon suffered against the Dolphins.
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If Nixon can’t play, Melton could potentially serve as the kick returner, although it’s more likely that he would serve on special teams, possibly filling Nixon’s roll as a gunner on punt coverage. The Packers also might be without rookie receiver Christian Watson, although it’s unlikely the coaches would use someone with no experience in a critical game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The Packers made one other move, releasing outside linebacker Tipa Galeai, who has been on injured reserve since Week 7.