The Green Bay Packers selected the players on their practice squad on Sunday as they prepare for what promises to be a most unusual NFL season. The practice squad rules are different this year because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Players can be activated from the practice squad to the active roster much more easily although if they are active for too many games, they would have to pass through waivers to rejoin the practice squad.
Due in part to the lack of reps in training camp and the fact that there were no preseason games, no undrafted free agents made the initial 53-man roster for Green Bay this year. However, many of the players that showed some promise have been retained on the practice squad by GM Brian Gutekunst.
Here is a look at the players the Packers added to their practice squad and what their potential roles are in 2020 and moving forward. The players are listed in alphabetical order.
Krys Barnes, ILB
Barnes was an undrafted free agent who showed promise early in training camp. The UCLA alum is smart and sees the field well. His speed and size are average but he has good closing burst and diagnoses plays well and is considered a good tackler. Until he gains more experience, Barnes is best suited for special teams coverage duties with the Packers. ILB is not a deep area on this roster and one injury could mean Barnes is quickly added to the active roster.
Reggie Begelton, WR
Begelton was a standout for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL last year but the lack of preseason and offseason made his transition to the NFL game a lot more challenging. Begelton will have a chance to contribute if he proves he can make the adjustment to the NFL. Begelton is only 6’0” which give him a different body type and skill set than many of the Packers other, taller, receivers. He is talented and smart and could develop into a useful role player as a receiver in time.
Henry Black, S
Black had a good training camp and the rookie from Baylor earned a role on the practice squad. He has good size and is a physical player who can make plays against the run as well as against the pass. With seasoning, the Packers feel Black has a chance to make an impact both on defense and on special teams.
Damarea Crockett, RB
Crockett is a first-year man out of Missouri. He spent last year in Texans camp before joining the Raiders practice squad and then the Packers signed him to their practice squad in mid-October. The Packers are still interested in keeping him around for depth at RB after having him in training camp this year. His best season in college was his freshman year in 2016 when he gained 1,062 yards on the ground.
Robert Foster, WR
Foster spent the last two years with the Bills after making the team in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. The former Alabama star made 30 catches in his first two NFL seasons with an impressive 20.2-yard average per catch.
Foster has good speed and can add a deep element to the Packers offense if they activate him to the active roster. He had three 100-plus yard games as a rookie in 2018 and has been timed at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash.
Unfortunately, Foster suffered a concussion in training camp with Buffalo and may not be available for Week 1. He will add some experience and speed to the receiving corps and can contribute if called upon once he is out of the concussion protocol.
Tipa Galeai, Edge
Galeai was another undrafted free agent who showed enough promise that some people thought he’d make the final 53-man roster out of camp. The former Utah State star has great quickness off the ball but lacks the ideal size to get to the passer consistently in the NFL. If he can bulk up a bit and improve his hand technique to add to his pass rush moves, he may be able to become a quality NFL pass rusher. Initially at least, Galeai is likely to be a player who only sees the field on special teams and on obvious passing downs.
Jake Hanson, C
Hanson was the only Packers draft choice the team released but they quickly brought him back to the practice squad. Hanson was a victim of a numbers game as Lucas Patrick is an established backup at center behind Corey Linsley. The rookie out of Oregon needs to get a little stronger and gain some more experience but since Linsley’s contract is up after this year, Hanson could still be the team’s center of the future if he does a good job on the practice squad or active roster this season.
De’Jon Harris, ILB
Harris was an undrafted free agent who was in training camp with the Patriots this summer. The former Arkansas product is just 5’11” and ran a 4.69 in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, but he found ways to make plays in college, making at least 100 tackles in each of his last three seasons with the Razorbacks.
Harris has good instincts and vision but his lack of size and speed held him back. He will have to learn Mike Pettine’s defensive system quickly if he hopes to contribute this season.
Zack Johnson, G
The undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State showed some potential in camp but can use more seasoning. He has shown toughness and good technique but needs to improve his play at the second level to establish himself in the NFL. Johnson can also play tackle in a pinch and the Packers value versatility. He also has good size at 6’6” and 301 pounds.
Alex Light, OT
Light was the swing tackle last season but struggled in a few of the games he played on the offense including losses to the Eagles and 49ers. The former undrafted free agent out of Richmond was beaten out for the swing tackle spot this year by Yosh Nijman but will be available on the practice squad to provide depth at a position the Packers are thin at as of right now.
John Lovett, FB/TE
The Packers did not keep a pure fullback on their roster although both rookie Josiah Deguara and second-year man Jace Sternberger may play H-back in the offense when the formation calls for it.
Lovett played quarterback at Princeton and was signed by the Chiefs who released him in late July. The Packers signed him a day later. LaFleur liked Lovett’s versatility and intelligence and the Packers will keep him around for depth and to possibly contribute on special teams.
Lovett can be used on gadget plays as a passer, blocker or receiver which is something the coaching staff loves. He may yet have a future with the Packers after he gains some more knowledge of the system.
Willington Previlon, DT
The former Rutgers star was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Packers in April but did not make the final roster. Previlon is quick and athletic but needs to bulk up a bit to have success at the NFL level. Previlon has good quickness and can play anywhere along the defensive line. The practice squad berth will give him more chances to show the coaching staff what he can do.
Greg Roberts, LB
Roberts started training camp on the Covid-19 reserve list and that cost him some valuable time. The former Baylor star showed promise in camp in 2019 before being injured in camp. He missed the entire 2019 season and hopes to show what he can do on the practice squad in 2020. The coaching staff has liked what they’ve seen in the limited reps Roberts has gotten so far with the team.
Stanford Samuels, CB
Samuels had a good camp and came very close to making the Packers roster as an undrafted free agent. He has good height and is considered a physical corner who can play well in zone coverage but wasn’t graded out as a good run defender coming out of college.
The former Florida State star has good ball instincts and battles well for contested catches. He is a developmental prospect who could develop into a useful depth corner and/or special teams player for the Packers.
Delontae Scott, Edge
Scott was very productive at SMU but was not drafted, mainly because he is undersized. Nearly half of his 39 tackles last year were tackles for loss. If he can get stronger and bulk up a bit without sacrificing his quickness and speed, Scott may be able to have a future in the NFL.
Because the Packers are very deep at edge, Scott is unlikely to see much action this year barring illnesses or injuries at the position.
Darrius Shepherd, WR
Shepherd surprised everybody last year when he made the team after a strong preseason showing but he fizzled during the regular season both as a receiver and a return specialist. He again had a strong training camp this season and narrowly missed making the roster again.
Shepherd has excellent speed and if he can be more consistent in game situations, may be able to contribute something to the offense as either a deep threat or in the slot. The former North Dakota State star has one more chance to show the coaching staff what he can do this season.
Dexter Williams, RB
The former Notre Dame star showed good running ability last preseason but struggled to pick up his pass protection assignments and therefore barely saw the field as a rookie last season. The additions of A.J. Dillon in this year’s draft and Tyler Ervin as a late season signing last year made it tough for Dexter Williams to find a spot in the Packers deep backfield.
Williams has good cutback ability and would be a good fit in Matt LaFleur’s offense. He will have a chance to improve his blocking and receiving while on the practice squad and will be available if any injuries strike the Green Bay runners.
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