Training camp is all about figuring out the best ways to maximize an NFL roster. But, just like the season, there are a lot of factors that can affect that evaluation.
One of those factors is the most obvious of them all: injuries. Teams can lose a player in the blink of an eye during this time of the year. And those injuries can drastically alter a team’s approach when it comes to roster construction.
The Green Bay Packers are currently down to four healthy running backs after the latest injury to reserve running back Patrick Taylor. ESPN‘s Rob Demovsky reported Wednesday that Taylor is currently dealing with a groin injury.
Two additions to the Packers’ injury list:— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 3, 2022
RB Patrick Taylor (groin)
WR Osirus Mitchell (quad)
Jaire Alexander is practicing. pic.twitter.com/suA1N6WDVv
Groin injuries can be fickle, especially at a position like running back. The fact the Packers have just four healthy backs is already reason enough to contemplate adding another just for insurance/evaluation purposes.
But when one considers how much the Packers utilize their top-2 backs in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, it makes even more sense that the Packers would add another back before the team takes on the San Francisco 49ers on August 12.
And head coach Matt LaFleur even said so himself when spoke with reporters on Thursday.
“That’s something that Gute [general manager Brian Gutekunst] and I have talked about,” LaFleur told reporters Thursday. “Certainly we don’t want to go into the first preseason game with two backs. I doubt you’ll see Aaron Jones or A.J. [Dillon] in that first preseason game. So, we’ll see where we’re at with Patrick [Taylor] as it gets a little closer.”
If the Packers do need to make a move, there are some intriguing options in free agency. Veterans such as Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, David Johnson, and Carlos Hyde are available, as well as some others.
And of course, there are the lesser-known UDFAs and tryout players who are itching for the opportunity to make an NFL roster. Or practice squad, at least.
None of those guys are starting-caliber players, but the Packers don’t need that trait, right now. Any of them would make a quality depth option in case Taylor isn’t ready to go for the first preseason game.
You can check out LaFleur’s entire presser, below:
Featured image via MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK