Packers waive/injured Lyerla, will place on IR

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers tight end Colt Lyerla halts prepares to hurdle a defender during Family Night at Lambeau Field.

The Green Bay Packers aren't giving up on Colt Lyerla.

Although the Packers waived the former Oregon tight end with an injury designation on Tuesday, Lyerla said he was told the organization intends to place him on season-ending injured reserve once he clears.

Lyerla tore the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligament in his knee trying to hurdle cornerback Jumal Rolle during the Packers' Family Night practice on Aug. 2. He was expected to miss the remainder of the preseason.

"It will be another year off football, but it's pretty different where I'll be at and what I'll be doing," Lyerla said. "So I'll be part of the Green Bay Packers organization, I feel like there's a lot of positives to that."

The injury put the Packers into a tough spot. Nobody disputes his athleticism. The main reason why he went undrafted in May was because of a litany of off-the-field incidents, including his departure from the Ducks' football team, an arrest for cocaine and his Twitter comments about the Sandy Hook shooting.

Lyerla has been a good citizen in Green Bay, but struggled during the first week of camp and the Packers didn't really see enough to validate giving the 6-foot-3, 247-pound tight end a spot on the 53-man roster.

The Packers could have tried to reach an injury settlement and brought Lyerla back on the practice squad, but they would have to wait six weeks after he's medically cleared to re-sign him.

It's possible another NFL team could claim Lyerla's rights – New England claimed Jake Ballard from the New York Giants in 2012 – but it's rare.

If he makes it to injured reserve, he can't practice with the team. However, he will make $303,000 for the season because of the split-salary clause in his contract. The Packers went the same route with 2013 seventh-round pick, receiver Kevin Dorsey, after injuries ruined his rookie camp.

Lyerla will still be a fixture in the classroom. As tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot points out, Andrew Quarless helped develop and administer tests after he blew out his knee and missed the 2012 season.

"I think it's highly important to get him involved any way that you possibly can," Fontenot said. "Going back a couple of years, whenever Drew was dealing with his injury, we kind of got him involved by having him make out tests for the tight ends on Saturday morning, because that was generally the time I would administer whatever questions I wanted to hit them with during the week, but I had him do it for whatever stretch of games he wasn't practicing for." and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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