North Notes: Packers, Rudock, R. Hall

Packers WR Jeff Janis broke his right hand on Wednesday, and although a serious injury is a less-than-ideal way to solve a roster crunch, Janis’ misfortune could help resolve Green Bay’s logjam at wide receiver, as Tom Silverstein of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. Head coach Mike McCarthy all but ruled out having seven wide receivers on his 53-man roster early in camp, and if the Packers were to put Janis on IR, they could keep all six of their other drafted receivers: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jared Abbrederis, and Trevor Davis. Of course, Green Bay could put Janis on the Injured Reserve-Designated to Return list, which means that the club could keep those other six wideouts, and if Janis is needed later on, he could be brought back for the second half of the season. Today, McCarthy said that Janis, at the very least, will not practice with the team this week (Twitter link via Silverstein).

Now let’s take a look at some more notes from around the league:

  • Last season, the Packers‘ third running back spot was split between two small school products, and Bob McGinn of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that another small school back, Brandon Burks, has a real shot at landing that job in 2016. Burks, a Troy product whom the Packers signed as a UDFA this year, was terrific as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker in Green Bay’s preseason win over Cleveland on Friday night, and he offers a nice change-of-pace to Eddie Lacy and James Starks.
  • The top four spots on the Lions’ wide receiver depth chart are fairly well-settled, but after Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Anquan Boldin, and T.J. Jones, Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press writes that there are still no clear favorites for the final one or two WR openings on the roster.
  • Lions rookie signal-caller Jake Rudock looked as good as anyone could have reasonably expected during his professional debut against Pittsburgh on Friday night, and Carlos Monarrez of The Detroit Free Press wonders if the Michigan product could ascend the depth chart to become Matthew Stafford‘s primary backup this year. At the very least, continued strong performances from Rudock could convince the Lions to carry three QBs on the roster.
  • Browns WR Rannell Hall, whom the club plucked off of Tampa Bay’s practice squad last December, will be out for the season after suffering a fractured fibula in Friday night’s loss to Green Bay, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Hall was certainly on the roster bubble, but he would have been eligible for the practice squad and would have at least had an outside chance at a roster spot given Cleveland’s fairly thin receiving corps.
  • Earlier today, we learned that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is insisting that Ladarius Green‘s absence is related to his ankle issues, not his headaches, and that Tomlin will not confirm reports that Green is experiencing lingering headaches and is considering retirement.
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