Packers excited about Dorsey's versatility

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Shawn Slocum didn't know exactly what he had in Kevin Dorsey at first.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Kevin Dorsey catches a pass on the second day of Packers training camp.

It was kind of hard since there wasn't much film on the 2013 seventh-round pick. His rookie season was wiped out by a hamstring injury during the offseason program and a toe injury landed him on injured reserve at the end of camp.

It wasn't until Dorsey returned for this year's offseason program that the Packers' special-teams coach started notice the 6-foot-1, 207-pound receiver. Finally healthy, Dorsey slowly worked his way up on different units.

Dorsey was playing on the Packers' first-team kickoff units and on punt returns by the end of the preseason, but it wasn't enough to beat out Jeff Janis' highlight reel catches for the fifth and final receiver spot.

That changed Monday. After spending five weeks on the practice squad, the Packers promoted Dorsey to the active roster with Jarrett Boykin (groin) iffy for Sunday's game with the Miami Dolphins.

Time will tell with Dorsey on offense, but Slocum believes he's a guy who'll fit right into his special-team units.

"Kevin is smart, he's tough, he's fast," Slocum said. "He can do a number of things on special teams. He can block. He can cover. He's got some return ability. He just has a lot of things he can excel at on special teams."

"With the limited number of guys we have active on game day, the more that you can do, the more value you have."

Dorsey has had quite the journey. He endured a frustrating senior season at Maryland in 2012 when the Terrapins ran low on healthy quarterbacks. Then, injuries hit after he landed in Green Bay.

Offensively, he'll be ready if the Packers call upon him, though it's more likely he'll be looked to first contribute on special teams, a role he's comfortable in filling.

"Some people may look at it in a bad light. I love it because it can change the game," Dorsey said. "There's a very fine margin. That could be one play. It could be one block that you make. One block that you miss. One return that you break for a big one to put the offense in good field position or stopping someone and pinning them down in the 5 on a punt definitely helps a defense. That one play can change the outcome of a game."

To make room for Dorsey, the Packers parted with veteran tight end and special-teams stalwart Ryan Taylor on Monday. The following day, the Baltimore Ravens claimed the 2011 seventh-round pick on waivers.

It leaves the Packers with only three tight ends on the active roster for the first time in recent memory, a position they've carried as many as five over the past few years.

"It's unfortunately part of the business and sometimes numbers are a factor," tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot said. "Ryan is a great kid. I enjoyed coaching him. We appreciate everything he did for us. Hopefully, everything works out for him in Baltimore or wherever else he ends up."

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