Packers Release Ex-Ravens Tight End After Latest Signing

Packers Release Wolf

Getty Eli Wolf #87 of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Green Bay Packers have released former Indianapolis Colts tight end Eli Wolf from their 90-man roster one day after bringing in a fresh face at the position.

According to the NFL transaction wire for July 22, the Packers waived Wolf and reduced their tight end room back down to seven players again on Friday, essentially completing a swap-out at the back end of the position group that replaced Wolf with former USFL standout Sal Cannella on the training camp roster.

The Packers claimed Wolf off the waivers from the Colts on May 12 before the start of OTAs and seemed like they would have him compete for a deep-depth or practice-squad role with the team for the 2022 season. He has not played any regular-season snaps throughout his first two seasons in the league, but the same can also be said about his replacement, Cannella, who led all USFL tight ends in receptions (34) for the New Orleans Breakers during the 2022 season earlier this year.

What’s most notable about Wolf’s departure, though, is that the Packers now have just 89 players on their roster and seem likely to find someone to fill the lone open spot before starting camp practices next Wednesday, July 27. The arrival of Cannella keeps the Packers at seven tight ends, but Robert Tonyan Jr. starting camp on the PUP list could potentially justify the addition of another camp body.

The Packers also have two running backs — Kylin Hill (ACL recovery) and Patrick Taylor — on the PUP list to begin camp, leaving undrafted rookies Tyler Goodson and BJ Baylor as their only depth rushers behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.

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How Quickly Will Tonyan Return to the Fold?

Tonyan’s placement on the PUP list isn’t too surprising considering he tore his ACL on October 28 and is still a little less than nine months into recovery. Typically, it takes between nine and 12 months for athletes to bounce back from ACL tears. The Packers also tend to exhibit an abundance of caution when working back players who have sustained severe injuries, especially after a longer-than-expected recovery process with All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari over the past 19 months.

Fortunately, Tonyan was seen running along the sideline at Tight End University summit back in June and showed good mobility in his knee with The Athletic’s David Lombardi reporting that he is “expected” to be ready for Week 1’s opener against Minnesota. Even if the Packers wait a few weeks into camp to get him back on the practice field, it bodes well for his regular-season status that he has been running again for at least a month.

In some ways, a slow reintegration for Tonyan could help the Packers sort out the remainder of their tight end room. Surely they will want to get some reps with Tonyan and Aaron Rodgers throughout their lead-up to the regular season, but there are more question marks behind him and Marcedes Lewis on the depth chart. For the early practices anyway, it could serve them well to get extended looks at guys such as Josiah Deguara, Tyler Davis, Dominique Dafney, Alize Mack and Cannella.

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