Packers Claim Former Eagles WR, Waive Longtime Backup

Fulgham Packers Claim

Getty Wide receiver Travis Fulgham, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Green Bay Packers are taking another chance on fourth-year wide receiver Travis Fulgham as they look to stack depth on their roster at training camp.

According to the NFL’s official transaction wire for August 17, the Packers claimed Fulgham off waivers from the Denver Broncos and waived backup Malik Taylor with an injury designation. They also officially signed rookie safety De’Vante Cross to their 85-man roster after he worked out for the team on August 15.

Fulgham’s first stint with the Packers was a brief one. He was signed to the team’s training-camp roster in August 2020 but was waived after just four days, leaving the Packers to roll forward with a receiving corps of Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown and Malik Taylor. Fulgham then landed with the Philadelphia Eagles and popped off for their offense, playing in 13 games and finishing the season with 38 receptions for 536 yards and four touchdowns.

Two years later, Fulgham is back in Green Bay and looking to contend for a bottom-roster spot in the Packers’ receiving rotation. He will compete primarily with Juwann Winfree and rookies Samori Toure and Danny Davis for the last spot in the rotation, assuming the Packers decide to carry seven receivers on their 53-man roster in 2022.

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Fulgham Showed Big-Play Potential With Eagles

Back in 2020, fans were a little frustrated to see Fulgham lighting things up for the Eagles after the Packers decided against giving him a genuine opportunity. Fulgham finished his season in Philadelphia as the Eagles’ leading receiver, taking advantage of injuries to DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery to show the league he had the potential to make an impact. He finished with at least five receptions in four of his five games and had a career game in Week 5 with 10 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Packers were starved for receiving depth and had just three players finish with more receptions than Fulgham, two of which were tight end Robert Tonyan and running back Aaron Jones. Fulgham wouldn’t have gotten quite the same attention if he had remained in Green Bay, but it still left people wondering what could have been.

That said, things will be different for Fulgham in his second stint. While the Packers are still answering questions about who will step up and fill the receiving void left behind in Adams’ departure, there are six receivers — Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Amari Rodgers — who already seem to have locked down spots on the 53-man roster. In other words, it will be an uphill climb for Fulgham even with more quality NFL experience than the rest of his competition.

Taylor’s Time Reaches an End

The departure of Taylor, while expected, marks the end of an impressive run for the former 2019 undrafted free agent. After spending his rookie season on the Packers’ practice squad, he surprisingly made the 53-man roster cut heading into his second year and has been a part of their receiving/special teams rotation ever since.

The biggest appeal of Taylor was his value on special teams. While he caught seven passes for 80 yards and a touchdown over the past two seasons on the active roster, he spent the majority of his time playing on all four of the Packers’ core special teams units for punts and kickoffs as a gunner and also fielded 14 kickoffs, averaging 18.9 yards per return. Reps didn’t always equate to success for Taylor, though.

According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor made four combined special teams tackles over 24 games in the past two seasons, but he also missed four tackles in that span. He also had some disastrous attempts as a returner, including a muffed punt that bounced off his foot and turned the ball over to the Kansas City Chiefs in last year’s Week 9 loss. With Rich Bisaccia trying to clean up the special teams unit for 2022 and depth aplenty at receiver, the writing was on the wall for Taylor heading into his fourth season — especially with an injury keeping him off the practice field as of late.

Taylor could still return for the Packers. If he goes unclaimed and clears the waivers, he will revert back to the Packers’ injured reserve list on Thursday, August 18.

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