Jake Hanson

Packers Activate WR Sammy Watkins, Place WR Randall Cobb On IR

It’s one in, one out for the Packers receiving corps. Just as Green Bay is able to activate veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins off of injured reserve, the team has to place its other veteran, Randall Cobb, on IR, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. The shuffle continues what has been a struggle for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.

Watkins was placed on the reserve list only two weeks into the season in order to deal with hamstring injuries. It was early in the season, but, after a 93-yard day against the Bears, Watkins was looking like a dangerous target for Rodgers. Through two games this season, Watkins was already on pace to have his best season since his early days in Buffalo. Rodgers should feel a bit of relief getting one of his favorite targets from early in the season back.

Cobb stepped up when Watkins went down and became the Packers’ second-leading receiver behind Allen Lazard. Just as Watkins is ready to return, though, Cobb will take his turn on IR. There was a bit of silver-lining reported yesterday as Cobb’s injury was determined not to be a broken ankle, as was initially feared, but a high ankle sprain that will keep him out for an expected “two to six weeks,” as opposed to the initial diagnosis of a season-ending injury.

With Cobb out and rookie second-round pick Christian Watson also dealing with hamstring issues, the Packers will look forward to getting Watkins back in the lineup, but they’ll likely be cautious with his return. Watkins is listed as questionable going into Sunday’s game in Landover, and he will likely have limited participation against the Commanders. Lazard and rookie fourth-round pick Romeo Doubs will be the main targets alongside Watkins with return specialist Amari Rodgers and rookie seventh-round pick Samori Toure filling in where needed.

In a couple other moves leading in the Week 7 slate, the Packers also placed offensive lineman Jake Hanson on IR and promoted outside linebacker La’Darius Hamilton as a gameday elevation.

Elgton Jenkins Likely To Stay On PUP List To Start Regular Season

The offseason rumors of Elgton Jenkins‘ return not transpiring until at least October are looking likelier to be true. The Pro Bowl offensive lineman is likely to begin the season on the reserve/PUP list, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

Players currently on teams’ active/PUP lists have until August 23 to be activated. If activations do not take place, they must begin the regular season on the reserve/PUP list — a roster designation that requires a minimum four-game absence to start the season. The potential unavailability of Jenkins and All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari continues to complicate matters for the Packers’ offensive front.

Jenkins, who has played a few spots along Green Bay’s offensive line, suffered his ACL tear on Nov. 21, 2021, going down on a noncontact play. If he remains on the PUP list going into the season, the earliest he could return would be the team’s Oct. 9 game against the Giants. That would be on the longer end for an ACL return, though these severe knee injuries — as Bakhtiari’s complications from a New Year’s Eve 2020 tear show — affect each player differently. The Packers also are known for injury-related caution.

Bakhtiari remains on Green Bay’s active/PUP list as well. The team managed to go 14-2, prior to a meaningless Week 18 loss to the Lions, with its starters last season. That came entirely without Bakhtiari and partially without Jenkins, who missed 10 games (counting Green Bay’s divisional-round loss to San Francisco).

The Packers have been using Jon Runyan Jr. as their first-string left guard during camp, per Schneidman, who adds a combination of Yosh Nijman, Zach Tom, Royce Newman and Jake Hanson have been combining to fill the other three tackle and guard posts. The Packers used third- and fourth-round picks on Sean Rhyan and Tom, respectively, this year. Josh Myers, who also missed a chunk of last season, remains at center. The team’s first depth chart listed Nijman at left tackle, Newman at right tackle and Hanson, a third-year blocker, at right guard.

Jenkins, who filled in for Bakhtiari at left tackle to start last season, is going into a contract year. A strong return from the ACL tear would put him in position to command top-tier guard money. He was a Pro Bowl guard alongside Bakhtiari, who signed a top-tier tackle contract weeks before his ACL tear, in 2020. Of course, the longer both he and Bakhtiari remain out the more questions it will generate about the state of Green Bay’s O-line.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 4/18/22

Here’s a look at the latest tender decisions from around the NFL:

RFAs

Signed:

ERFAs

Signed:

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/26/21

Here are Tuesday’s reserve/futures deals:

Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/13/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves. While the Titans are moving some players off their reserve/COVID-19 list, other teams have placed players on their respective coronavirus lists.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DT Marlon Davidson; the rookie defensive lineman tested positive for the coronavirus, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Promoted: CB Tyler Hall

Buffalo Bills

  • Promoted: CB Dane Jackson, LB Andre Smith

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed off Browns’ practice squad: QB Garrett Gilbert 

Green Bay Packers

  • Placed on IR: TE Josiah Deguara, C Jake Hanson

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: FB Anthony Sherman; the 10th-year veteran did not test positive for the coronavirus, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promoted: S JuJu Hughes
  • Placed on IR: S Jordan Fuller

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived: Hercules Mata’afa

New York Jets

  • Promoted: CB Lamar Jackson

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Waived: DB Grayland Arnold, DE Casey Toohill

San Francisco 49ers

  • Claimed off waivers from Buccaneers: CB Parnell Motley

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Promoted: CB Ross Cockrell, LB Chapelle Russell

Tennessee Titans

  • Activated off reserve/COVID-19 list: LB Kamalei Correa, CB Kristian Fulton
  • Promoted: LB Darren Bates, WR Cody Hollister, CB Kareem Orr, OL David Quessenberry

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 7/11/20

We’ll keep track of today’s mid- to late-round draft pick signings here:

  • The Jaguars have signed fourth-round offensive tackle Ben Bartch. The six-foot-six, 305-pound rookie spent four seasons at Division III St. John’s University in Minnesota, including his first two as a tight end. He transitioned to offensive tackle before his junior season, and he earned first-team All-MIAC nod during his senior year. When Jacksonville used pick No. 116 on Bartch, he became the first Division III player to be drafted in five years, and he was the first St. John’s player to be drafted since 1974. Also, as if you didn’t like him already, Bartch previously relied on a, uh, unique smoothie of eggs, cottage cheese, grits, peanut butter, banana, and Gatorade to put on weight as an offensive lineman, thus leading to the nickname “Smoothie King.”
  • The Packers have signed center Jake Hanson to his rookie deal. The Oregon product was selected with pick No. 208, one of three offensive lineman selected by Green Bay in the sixth round (along with John Runyan Jr. (No. 192) and Simon Stepaniak (No. 209)). Hanson didn’t allow a sack through his first three seasons with the Ducks, and he ultimately started 49 games during his four-year career. The lineman earned a pair of AP second team all-Pac-12 selections during his time at Oregon. Third-round tight end Josiah Deguara is now the Packers’ only unsigned rookie.