Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Building The 53 - White out, Tretter in

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has been active churning the bottom third of The 53 given all of the injuries the Packers have suffered this season.  That churn continued today as Thompson placed Myles White (WR) on injured reserve and added rookie JC Tretter (G/C) to The 53 from PUP list.  There were some questions whether Tretter would be healthy enough to play this season after he torn ligaments in his ankle and fractured his fibula during an off-season workout on May 20, 2013 so it is nice to see him back healthy.  Unfortunately it comes at the expense of White getting placed on injured reserve, which leaves the Packers with only four wide receivers on The 53: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin, and Chris Harper.

Although White made seven appearances for the Packers this season, he only caught nine passes for 66 yards so the Packers can easily replace his production.  Jones is set to be a free agent this off-season so even if he leaves via free agency, the Packers will have a quality trio of  receivers next year in Nelson, Cobb, and Boykin.  If Harper has a productive off-season, the Packers will give him every chance to make The 53 in 2014 as well.  The Packers already placed two other wide receivers on injured reserve earlier this season as well: Kevin Dorsey and Sedrrick Cunningham.  That gives the Packers six, or seven if the Packers re-sign Jones, receivers most likely ahead of White for five or six spots on The 53 in 2014.  That doesn't even factor in the 2014 NFL Draft where the Packers could add another wide receiver.  Taking that all into account, my guess is that this ends White's tenure with the Packers.

Tretter started college as a tight end at Cornell but shifted to left tackle during his junior year.  When Thompson drafted Tretter in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft he projected as a tweener guard/tackle given that he is only 6'4" and 307 lbs.  As it turns out the Packers are going to give Tretter a shot at center and guard in the NFL, which would be his third position change change in just over four years.  Given all of the injury issues starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith dealt with this season, I think it makes the most sense to have Tretter focus on center position for the rest of 2013.  Hopefully Tretter could play center in a pinch, I just wonder how effective he will be given that it is a new position and he is coming back from a serious injury.

All week speculation was expected to focus on whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Randall Cobb would be healthy enough to play this weekend when the Packers face the Dallas Cowboys on the road.  Rodgers is currently on The 53 while Cobb is not on The 53 because he is on injured reserve but designated for return.  The logical move seemed to be adding Cobb in place of White. Since Thompson added Tretter instead of Cobb in place of White, the Packers will have to make another change to The 53 to add Cobb.

If the Packers do in fact make any other moves to The 53 before their game against the Cowboys, make sure to check back for full coverage.  Otherwise, with both teams fighting for their playoff lives, make sure to check back Monday for my thoughts on the Packers/Cowboys game.

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