GM Ted Thompson said Tuesday morning that the 53-man roster for Week 1 is a long way from being decided with three preseason games still remaining. The Packers won’t make any cuts until after the third game, when the roster is reduced from 90 to 75 players. It comes down to 53 after the fourth preseason game.
“I don’t try to prejudge it,” Thompson said during his weekly training camp meeting with the media. “I let it go its course. Too many times you think, ‘This is probably going to happen,’ and all of a sudden somebody has a dynamite game and it’s completely different. So I let it run its course. We told these guys they have a chance to make our team and they still have a chance to make our team.”
Thompson also dismissed the notion that the signings of 31-year-old Reggie Wells on the offensive line and 29-year-old Cedric Benson, a running back with a checkered past, have signaled any shift in philosophy with how he goes about building a team. He emphasized that those signings were out of necessity due to injuries and questions about depth at those positions.
“A team is ever-evolving, and we felt like those were good moves at this particular time,” Thompson said. “We were very, very young at a couple of positions, like in the case of Reggie Wells, we’re very young in the backup roles (on the offensive line). Adding a guy with experience, we’ll take a look at him and see how he fits in, see if it’s a good fit. I don’t know if there’s any cosmic change in the way we like to do business.”
Particularly at running back, the injuries have piled up. When John Kuhn sustained an ankle injury Monday, the Packers were down to two healthy tailbacks (Alex Green, who’s on a snap count, and rookie Marc Tyler) and one fullback (undrafted rookie Nic Cooper).
“As we went further into training camp, we realized you never have enough horses,” Thompson said. “It’s a tough position to play. It’s a tough position durability-wise to stay out there. We think he can help that group out. What that means, whether he’s a starter, all that will be determined down the road.”
As for Benson’s off-the-field incidents over the years, Thompson said he spoke with Benson about them and came away confident that Benson is more mature now.
“I don’t want to talk about Cedric’s private affairs, but we had a conversation and I was comfortable he understands that maybe he made some mistakes in the past and maybe he’s more mature and farther down the road in terms of developing in that regard,” Thompson said. “We felt comfortable after that.”
Tags: cedric benson, reggie wells, ted thompson
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