Corey Ballentine

Packers Place Darnell Savage, Eric Stokes On IR

The Packers announced a flurry of roster moves today to take care of some injury business. Green Bay had to send safety Darnell Savage and cornerback Eric Stokes to injured reserve, requiring the signing of two practice squad defensive backs to come up and fill their place.

Savage, the Packers starting free safety of the past five years, is playing in a contract year after having his fifth-year option picked up. Unfortunately, this last season before hitting the open market will include a stint on IR after the Maryland alum suffered a calf injury, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. With Savage expected to need a month or so to heal, former Houston starter Jonathan Owens will likely take his place in the starting lineup next to Rudy Ford.

Stokes is returning to IR after a heart-breaking four days. The young cornerback out of Georgia missed the back half of last season with an ankle injury then underwent both foot and knee surgeries in the offseason. Not fully healed at the start of this year, Stokes has been on Green Bay’s reserve/PUP list all season, up until four days ago.

Green Bay partially activated Stokes out of necessity in order to ensure he would be able to avoid spending the full season on the PUP list, after being designated to return. After only four special teams snaps in Week 7, though, Stokes will land on IR for a second straight season. The injury sending him back to IR is being designated as a hamstring malady.

The Packers decided to fill the two vacant roster spots by signing practice squad players to the active roster, one of whom came from another team’s practice squad. The team decided to add cornerback Robert Rochell off the Panthers’ practice squad and promote cornerback Corey Ballentine from their own. Cornerback Zyon Gilbert will join the Packers’ practice squad, filling the spot vacated by Ballentine.

With Stokes on IR and Jaire Alexander continuing to battle the injury bug, the focus on cornerbacks is completely understandable. With a three-game upcoming stretch that includes games against the Chargers, Lions, and Chiefs, Green Bay will be working hard to get their secondary right.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/9/23

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Penny Hart

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

Jones will be headed to his third team since the preseason concluded. With James Conner going down with a knee injury, the Cardinals are better equipping themselves in the backfield. Jones, who went to camp with the Broncos and had returned to the Saints, will head to the desert. Jones scored two touchdowns in the Saints’ Week 2 win over the Panthers and played in three other Saints games this season. But the team waived him Saturday. Jones will join Keaontay Ingram and rookie UDFA Emari Demercado on Arizona’s active roster; Damien Williams resides on the Cardinals’ practice squad. Ingram has missed time with a neck injury recently.

Because the Packers have used up their practice squad elevations with Taylor, they are signing him to their 53-man roster. Taylor will come up to replace Aaron Jones, whom the Pack declared inactive. Despite Jones having returned for Week 4, the standout starter is out again with a hamstring injury.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/28/23

Today’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Seattle Seahawks

The Cowboys are moving on from Devin Harper after two seasons. The 2022 sixth-round pick out of Oklahoma State ultimately got into six games during his time in Dallas, collecting three tackles while mostly playing on special teams.

The Seahawks are down to four wide receivers on their active roster after they moved on from Cody Thompson today. The Toledo product spent much of the past three seasons in Seattle, with the majority of his snaps coming on special teams.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/23/23

Here are the various practice squad elevations and other minor moves from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Signed to active roster: LB Sam Eguaveon
  • Elevated: OL Chris Glaser

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Chicago Bears

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Placed on IR:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/20/23

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

The Giants are giving Leonard Johnson a three-year deal, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. The former Duke prospect suffered a torn ACL while training for the 2022 draft; the Giants worked him out Monday and saw enough to take a flier. While Ford made two starts for the Falcons last season, the ex-UDFA is best known for his special teams work. He saw action on 83% of Atlanta’s ST plays last season, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (via Twitter) the Bengals are giving him a one-year deal worth up to $2.25MM.

Both Scharping and Lonnie Johnson are former Texans second-round picks. The Texans waived Scharping on roster-cutdown day in August, but the Bengals claimed him. Although Scharping only played 30 snaps for Cincinnati last season, the team will keep him around for another run at a backup gig. Months before bailing on Scharping, the Texans traded Johnson to the Chiefs. But Kansas City did not see much from the acquisition in camp and waived him. The Titans picked up Johnson via waivers, using him as a backup. Johnson has experience at both cornerback and safety, and The Score’s Jordan Schultz adds he agreed to a one-year Saints deal (Twitter link).

Packers CB Eric Stokes Unlikely To Return This Season

NOVEMBER 12: The Packers announced on Saturday that Stokes has been placed on IR. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes that the team originally hoped he had only suffered sprains in the affected areas, but that further testing revealed structural damage (Twitter link). Green Bay has used the open roster spot by signing journeyman Corey Ballentine from their practice squad to the active roster.

NOVEMBER 11: The Packers’ defense is expected to be without a key piece for the rest of the season. Matt LaFleur views it likely Eric Stokes will be shut down.

A 2021 first-round pick, Stokes will see ankle and knee injuries end his sophomore NFL season early. This will certainly be a big loss for a Green Bay team in unexpected territory at the nine-game mark.

Green Bay devoted considerable resources to stocking its cornerback position this offseason, re-signing Rasul Douglas and extending Jaire Alexander on a corner-record AAV ($21MM). Stokes has been a key part of this puzzle since being taken 29th overall last year. While Alexander missed most of the 2021 campaign and Douglas did not become a key factor until midway through last season, Stokes has been a constant during his career. Sunday will only be the Georgia product’s second missed game as a pro.

Week 9’s Lions matchup has ended up costing the Packers essential personnel. Rashan Gary suffered a torn ACL during the upset loss, and Stokes’ forthcoming absence will shake up Green Bay’s secondary. DC Joe Barry mentioned the prospect of moving safety Darnell Savage into the slot. The team now has an extra player that would help allow for such a transition, in recent waiver claim Johnathan Abram. Still, the Packers being without Gary and Stokes will bring difficulties during a season that has drifted well off course.

Stokes, 23, moved into the Packers’ starting lineup in Week 3 of this rookie season. By Week 5 of last year, Alexander was out of the picture with a significant shoulder injury. Stokes manned one of Green Bay’s boundary positions, joining Douglas. The latter, re-signed on a three-year deal worth $21MM, moved inside this year. Stokes’ injury would allow Douglas to move to the position at which he is more familiar, but the Packers losing two starting defenders in the same week will remind of last season.

The team lost Alexander and Za’Darius Smith early last season. David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins were also out of the mix for Green Bay’s stretch run. That team, which of course featured Davante Adams, navigated the injuries effectively and zoomed to a second straight NFC No. 1 seed. This edition, which is sitting with its worst nine-game mark (3-6) since 2005, stands to be more impacted by major injuries.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/28/22

Here are the practice squad signings and releases for today:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: OLB Gerri Green

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/20/22

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/7/22

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers