GREEN BAY – For years, the practice squad has been an essential feeder system for the Packers in developing future talent for the main roster.
Tramon Williams, Cullen Jenkins and Scott Wells all enjoyed lengthy NFL careers after starting out on Green Bay’s practice squad. Eight current active players, including receiver Allen Lazard and tight end Robert Tonyan, also spent time there before receiving promotions to the Packers’ 53-man roster.
As vital as the practice squad always has been, it will take on even greater importance moving forward. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL and NFLPA already agreed to expand the practice squad from 10 players to 14 over the next three seasons.
Due to the turbulent offseason structure and the looming threat of the virus, however, the league and players’ union agreed to expand the practice squad to a maximum of 16 players for this upcoming season, resulting in a total of 69 practice participants.
“I think it actually is a great benefit,” Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. “Many times throughout the course of a week, especially when you’re coming off a game … you’ve got a lot of guys doing double duty. That takes its toll on the players, on their bodies.
“So, I think it’s outstanding that we have such a big practice squad because, you’re really mindful of the reps, and I think you can have great quality practices.”