The Green Bay Packers cut loose another two players, including a former rival wide receiver who has just spent four days with the team, as they cleared room for the rest of their personnel to return from the COVID-19 reserve list.
The Packers activated both long snapper Hunter Bradley and outside linebacker Greg Roberts off the COVID-19 list on Wednesday, releasing former Detroit Lions wide receiver Travis Fulgham and undrafted rookie Travis Bruffy in a pair of offsetting moves that keep the Packers’ roster size at the required 80-man limit for training camp.
While Bradley was moved directly to the active roster, Roberts traded one list for another with the Packers placing him on the PUP list — which counts against the team’s active roster total. He is the third player to be declared physically unable to perform this summer, joining inside linebacker Curtis Bolton and offensive tackle Yosh Nijman.
Fulgham was on just his fourth day with the Packers after getting claimed off the waivers from the Lions over the weekend, but the 2019 sixth-round pick made it just three practices — he was not present on Wednesday — before getting shown the door. He was targetted three times during his rookie season but made no receptions, spending most of 2019 on the Lions’ practice squad.
Meanwhile, Bruffy became the sixth UDFA signing to be cut from the Packers’ roster without much of a chance to earn his stripes, an unfortunate result of preseason roster sizes being reduced from 90 to 80 players. The former Texas Tech offensive tackle was competing for a deep depth spot with others such as John Leglue and Cody Conway.
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Fulgham’s Release Narrows WR Competition
The Packers opted to infuse a little more NFL experience into their receiving corps ahead of their first training camp practice, replacing undrafted rookie Darrell Stewart Jr. with Fulgham and Turner — who had each spent at least one season in an NFL system. The pickups helped add some bodies and depth after Devin Funchess opted out of the 2020 season.
That Fulgham is already gone, though, suggest the Packers are seeing good things from their returning group of wideouts early on in camp. Davante Adams remains the No. 1 passing option for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but the depth behind him is largely unsettled with Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown all in the mix for bigger roles.
Behind them, the Packers also still employ Jake Kumerow, Darrius Shepherd, Malik Taylor and ex-CFL standout Reggie Begelton — the likes of which Turner will have to outshine if he hopes to avoid the same fate as Fulgham in the coming weeks.
Can Roberts Still Compete for Roster Spot?
Roberts took a step closer to making his Packers return on Wednesday, but the second-year linebacker still has some work to do before he can return to action with his teammates. The question is whether Roberts will still have time to secure a roster spot before camp ends.
The Packers signed Roberts as an undrafted rookie out of Baylor in 2019, but he was declared physically unable to perform in the first week of training camp as he recovered from offseason core muscle surgery, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovksy.
Roberts remained on the PUP list for the entire regular season and, despite practicing a bit late in the year, didn’t play a single down. His odds at making the 2020 roster were already long with Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary heading up the position group and others also hungry to fill depth roles, but his COVID-19 designation — and now placement on the PUP list — only hurts his chances during an abbreviated preseason.