The preseason has ended, and the regular season is approaching very soon. The Packers must now finalize their 53-man roster, which will be a difficult task given the strong preseason performance they had this year.
While the team has a lot of talent, not everyone will make the final 53-man roster. The Packers already started by recently releasing punter Pat O’Donnell. There are many other players on the roster bubble, and their fate remains uncertain. Here are the players on the roster bubble and their chances of making the team.
Packers Bubble Players: Who Will Or Won’t Make The 53-Man Roster
Patrick Taylor & Emanuel Wilson: Not Making It
The Packers may carry two running backs like they did last season. Patrick Taylor and Emanuel Wilson have not separated themselves to be that third running back behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion. Wilson had a productive preseason, but Matt LaFleur has stated that he hasn’t been good enough in pass protection, not impacting special teams, and saying his conditioning needs to be better. Now Taylor has been good in pass protection and on special teams but has been pretty lackluster in the preseason.
Taylor’s special teams play, and pass-blocking ability may give him the edge, but there are no guarantees for him. As of right now, the Packers will not carry a third running back on the roster with no true standout in the preseason.
Royce Newman: Not Making It
The Packers’ offensive line has performed well overall, allowing only one sack and one quarterback hit, which is impressive. Their strong pass blocking allowed Jordan Love to play the preseason and gain valuable experience and meaningful reps. However, Royce Newman has been the weak link in that group, struggling in pass blocking and committing costly holding penalties. From once a starter to now at risk of not making the team, it is pretty certain that Royce Newman’s time as a Green Bay Packer has come to an end.
Brenton Cox: Making It
Rookie UDFA Brenton Cox is a lock for the roster. Despite character issues that got him kicked off two college teams, he has shown this year in the preseason that he should have been a day-two pick at worst. He has played well in all three preseason games this year, getting plenty of pressures and pass deflections while being solid against the run.
Here are his snaps against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday:
Brenton Cox cutup pic.twitter.com/tgN3k1tozL
— Theo Ash (@TheoAshNFL) August 27, 2023
If Brenton Cox goes on waivers, there’s a high chance he’ll be claimed right away. The Packers may have to keep him on the 53-man roster to prevent other teams from claiming him, as he could be a future starter if he continues to develop.
Malik Heath: Making It
Rookie Malik Heath has been impressive since joining the Packers as a rookie UDFA this year. He has made plays during offseason workouts, training camp, and in all three preseason games. Starting QB Jordan Love and backup QB Sean Clifford have praised Heath’s skills and his potential impact on offense this year.
Heath has already played and got time with the starters. That tells all you need to know about his status on the team. Malik Heath is certainly a lock to make the team this year.
Tariq Carpenter: Not Making It
The Packers’ inside linebacker position has transformed from a weakness to a strength with De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker as starters, backed by Isiah McDuffie. Eric Wilson and Tariq Carpenter are vying for the last spot in that group. It may go to Wilson due to experience, but Carpenter has shown a ton of flashes as well.
It is just a very crowded room, and the Packers would need to keep five inside linebackers for Carpenter to make the team. It is very unfortunate, but Tariq Carpenter might be cut due to the inside linebacker position being a very crowded group on the Packers.
Innis Gaines: Not Making It
Innis Gaines is fighting for a roster spot on the team. He has been productive and shown versatility, even producing on special teams. However, he gave up a touchdown late in the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.
That may have hurt his chances, as there is little room for error in a crowded cornerback room that the Packers have right now. Gaines has played very hard this year in the preseason, but that one bad play on Saturday could cost him a roster spot.
Austin Allen: Making It
Austin Allen, a second-year tight end, looks to have secured his spot on the team. What helped him was when Tyler Davis unfortunately suffered a torn ACL in the first preseason game. Additionally, Josiah Deguara‘s use more as a fullback also worked in his favor. Allen has demonstrated his abilities in special teams, pass-catching, and run-blocking, as evidenced by this clip of him run-blocking against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.
Obviously, a tremendous opportunity exists for enormous human being Austin Allen. I really liked his work Saturday. pic.twitter.com/Wm5j2qRAsA
— Ross Uglem (@RossUglem) August 27, 2023
Allen looked very good on Saturday, and it seems that he will be a lock to make the team this year.
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