Could an injury-plagued veteran find a new start with the Green Bay Packers?
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Packers worked out defensive lineman Billy Winn, a former Cleveland Browns starter and 2012 sixth-round draft pick, along with six other players ahead of Sunday’s season-opening road game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Packers tryouts today:
WR Manasseh Bailey (Morgan State).
TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart (Pitt).
RB Javon Leake (Maryland).
RB De'Lance Turner (Alcorn St.).
C Adam Redmond (Harvard).
LB Ray Wilborn (Ball St.).
DE Billy Winn (Boise St.).
Notes: Will has… https://t.co/Dg4a4kSeDz
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 12, 2020
The Packers also worked out two other players with some NFL experience: Adam Redmond, who played 10 games as a backup offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, and running back De’Lance Turner. The latter spent time on practice squads in Baltimore and Miami.
The remainder of the Packers’ tryout list for Saturday featured four undrafted rookies, including wide receiver Manasseh Bailey (Morgan State), running back Javon Leake (Maryland), tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart (Pittsburgh) and linebacker Ray Wilborn (Ball State).
The Packers do not currently have an opening on their active roster, but there is a spot available on their 16-man practice squad following Saturday’s series of roster moves.
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Injuries Have Ravaged Winn’s NFL Career
Winn started 18 games for the Browns over his first three seasons and racked up 78 tackles, three sacks, five pass deflections, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during that span, but his career began to spiral downward after he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in September 2015.
While his only season with the Colts saw him make three starts over 12 games, Winn finished the year on injured reserve and was not retained after the season. Then, after spending the entire 2016 season with the Denver Broncos, he tore his ACL in a 2017 preseason game and hasn’t appeared in an NFL regular-season game since.
He attempted a comeback with the Broncos in 2019, but a preseason triceps injury saw him once again become an IR occupant.
Who Will Step Up for Packers’ Defensive Line?
The Packers are heading into Sunday’s opener against the Vikings with the exact same defensive linemen who were on the roster to finish the 2019 season. In the case of Kenny Clark — the NFL’s highest-paid defensive tackle — that’s a good thing, but his supporting cast has far more to prove in the upcoming year before inspiring true confidence.
Two big names to watch will be Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster, who were both listed as starters alongside Clark in the team’s first 2020 depth chart. More consistent play from them will be paramount in helping the Packers improve their run defense, while the expectations are also high for second-year Kingley Keke in a primary backup role.
The biggest question mark remains Montravius Adams, the 2017 third-round pick who sprained his toe during training camp and is currently doubtful to play in Week 1. His first three seasons with the Packers have been unspectacular, playing no more than 20% of defensive snaps in any one year with even fewer contributions on special teams. The Packers’ patience is likely beginning to wear thin with Adams, but having no better alternatives puts them in a bind.
Someone like Winn could present one; though, the Packers also have a few practice-squad linemen with the potential to contribute on the active roster. They brought back undrafted rookie Willington Prevlion for their reserves after cutting him at last weekend’s deadline, then signed second-year Daylon Mack, a beefy, run-stuffing former fifth-round pick for Baltimore.