With multiple players coming off suspensions and a mini crisis at the running back position, the Green Bay Packers had to make a roster move. And Thursday, the move they made was to cut Joe Callahan.
Callahan, the Packers’ third quarterback, used a strong preseason to earn his way onto the 53-man roster. But, with Mike Pennel and Demetri Goodson both eligible to return, something had to give.
Yet, with all the Packers’ injury problems at running back, Goodson and Pennel may need to wait their turn — because it may be running back Don Jackson, who takes Callahan’s spot.
The issue at running back began with Eddie Lacy, who his hurt ankle against the Giants. His status for Sunday’ game vs Dallas was already in question. Then, James Starks wound up on the injury report and was basically ruled out.
Lacy has been practicing, but in a limited fashion. His ankle has also been heavily tapped and iced, leaving questions about his availability and overall health.
Green Bay started the season with just two running backs on its original 53-man roster. Fullback Aaron Ripkowski is available, but having him run more than a few times per game is not ideal. And now that injuries have hit, the Packers are perilously thin.
That leaves Green Bay with Jackson, a rookie free agent on the practice squad.
Regardless of what happens with Lacy, the Packers will need a backup. Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb have both seen time at running back, but neither has been effective.
Jackson (5-10, 205) has with some definite skill. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry in his college career and has shown the ability to catch the ball. He’s gotten plenty of reps in practice this week, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and depending on Lacy’s health, could have a role Sunday.
Whether or not Jackson is added to the roster. More moves could be on the horizon.
Certainly, Pennel at 6-4, 330-pounds is someone the Packers want to have up front defensively. His presence could help against the Cowboys vaunted run game and back in the preseason, he was one of Green Bay’s best d-lineman.
Gooson is good on special teams and could play corner in a pinch. But, one would think he would be the third priority. The other thing Green Bay wants to do is get Callahan on the practice squad, but it remains to be seen if he will clear waivers.
By kickoff Sunday, don’t be surprised if the Packers have made at least one more roster move and don’t be shocked to see both Jackson and Pennel on the 46-man game day roster against Dallas.