The Green Bay Packers have set their 16-man practice squad for the 2021 season. All 16 of the players were with the Packers during training camp and will be well-known to fans. Some were even on the Packers’ active roster last season. As Green Bay enters the 2021 season, it is likely that there will be injuries suffered at various points in the season. As a result, some of these players may end up on the Packers’ active roster. Some of them may be on the 53-man roster next season. Here, we present three players who we believe will be a part of the Packers’ active roster either this season or next.
The #Packers will begin constructing their 16-man practice squad after the waiver period closes tomorrow.
They currently have 10 former practice-squad players on their initial roster, including Robert Tonyan, Allen Lazard and Lucas Patrick.
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) August 31, 2021
#1- CB Kabion Ento
It was surprising to many that Kabion Ento didn’t make the Packers’ 53-man roster. Many were surprised again when he cleared waivers and was available to sign to the practice squad. However, he cleared waivers and the Packers brought him back to their 16-man practice squad. Ento had a strong preseason, highlighted by this interception against the Texans:
.@Kabionento with the INT!
#HOUvsGB | #GoPackGo
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— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 15, 2021
Ento was a wide receiver in college. However, at six foot one and 187 pounds, he was a little small to play the position in the NFL. He does, though, have the footwork of a wide receiver and a knack for finding the ball. Ento missed much of 2019 and 2020 with some foot injuries, but will continue to learn his new position going forward in 2021. Based on his strong preseason, it may not be long until he finally cracks the 53-man roster.
#2- OL Cole Van Lanen
Cole Van Lanen is living the dream of every young kid that grew up cheering for the Packers. The Green Bay native went to the University of Wisconsin and then was drafted by his hometown team. The Packers used the first of their two sixth round draft picks this year to draft Van Lanen.
The Packers carried nine offensive linemen onto their initial 53-man roster. This does not include David Bakhtiari who is out for at least the first six weeks of the season. Part of the reason why Van Lanen was initially cut is because the Packers are not sure where to put him in the NFL:
Stenavich said the ex-Badger Cole Van Lanen got switched around a lot in camp and he's not sure what position he'll wind up at in the NFL. He said it was a work in progress in figuring that out.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) August 29, 2021
As a member of the practice squad, Van Lanen will have more time to find whichever role fits him and the Packers the best. With injuries, he may see some game action yet this season. However, his more likely path will be next season after free agents leave and cap casualties are made.
#3- QB Kurt Benkert
Kurt Benkert saw a great deal of playing time this preseason. Aaron Rodgers did not play in any games and Jordan Love was dinged up a bit. While he was not perfect, Benkert showed that he is easily the best third quarterback option in the NFL. He made exciting play after exciting play, and showed good poise on the field.
It was surprising that Benkert did not get picked up after his release. Now that he is back with the Packers, it will be interesting to see what his future holds. Of course, it is all dependent on what Aaron Rodgers decides to do at the end of the season. If Rodgers intends to return, Benkert may be on the practice squad next season. If Rodgers requests a trade, Benkert could be the backup to Jordan Love next year.
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