Two Green Bay Packers will begin the 2020 season on the injured reserve list.
The Packers placed both fifth-round rookie linebacker Kamal Martin (knee) and backup cornerback Kabion Ento (foot) on IR in a series of roster moves announced Monday afternoon. The team also signed former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Parry Nickerson, who was a 2018 sixth-round pick for the New York Jets.
The roster moves leave one spot open on the Packers’ 53-man roster.
It was expected that both Martin and Ento would be placed on IR to begin 2020 after each underwent respective surgeries to repair training-camp injuries. Ento suffered a Jones fracture in his foot at the end of August, while Martin tore the meniscus in his left knee with the expectation of being sidelined for at least six weeks.
Both will be eligible to return to the Packers’ active roster after spending three weeks on IR under new rules for the list this season.
Several other Packers also remained sidelined at Monday’s first practice of the week, including right tackle Billy Turner, defensive lineman Montravius Adams, outside linebacker Randy Ramsey and safety Raven Greene.
#Packers on the 53 who aren’t practicing today:
• Billy Turner
• Montravius Adams
• Kamal Martin
• Randy Ramsey
• Kabion Ento
• Raven Greene participated in warmups, but he was the only one doing so without a helmet
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 7, 2020
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Nickerson Offers Some NFL Experience
The Packers wasted no time finding a replacement for Ento as their No. 6 cornerback on the depth chart, scooping up Nickerson after he was cut from the Jacksonville Jaguars over the weekend and installing him behind a set of five other corners who should be more than capable of holding down the fort on their own.
There were other options available with undrafted rookie Stanford Samuels, a standout during last month’s training camp, back on the practice squad, but the Packers opted to choose a backup player with some NFL experience on his resume to round out the position group.
The CB the #Packers signed, Parry Nickerson is a fast straight-line speed guy. He was cut and #Jags didn’t want him on the PS. Maybe the Packers were interested in signing him to the PS and had competition from other teams and decided to use a spot on the 53 to take a look.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) September 7, 2020
A sixth-round selection out of Tulane, Nickerson played in every game during his 2018 rookie season with two starts and 16 solo tackles making for a modest beginning to his pro career. Things took a turn once he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks at the 2019 roster cutdown deadline, spending time on their practice squad before moving on to Jacksonville, where he played in four games with one start.
Nickerson’s production in his first two seasons might not turn any heads, but he has played 250 total defensive snaps and another 166 on special teams, which puts him much further ahead than fellow sixth-rounder Ka’dar Hollman — who currently projects to be the Packers’ fifth cornerback in the rotation. While he doesn’t figure to shake up the depth chart at all, Nickerson gives the Packers a (minor) safety net of on-field experience while Ento is out of commission.
Nickerson is also known for his speed after tying for the fastest 40-yard dash time in the 2018 Scouting Combine, beating out new teammates Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4.37) and Jaire Alexander (4.38) with his 4.32.