The release of Daniel Muir was the biggest surprise as the Green Bay Packers reduced their roster from 75 players to 53 on Friday.
The Packers needed to trim 20 players, not 22, to get to 53, since Mike Neal (four games) and Erik Walden (one game) do not count during their suspensions. To get there, they released 18 players, put Derek Sherrod on the physically unable to perform list and put Vic So’oto on injured reserve.
Packer Report broke the news on Muir, who had an outstanding training camp and looked like a factor not only as the backup nose tackle to B.J. Raji but one of the nickel defensive linemen on “50/50 downs” because of his ability to play the run and get some push on the quarterback.
Perhaps it was a sign that Muir played just about every snap of Thursday's game against Kansas City. Muir entered the game after Raji injured his ankle on the first play of the game. Muir played the rest of the way, taken out only when the Packers occasionally lined up in nickel and dime.
“I don’t ever, ever think, ‘Oh, I’ve got a job.’ No way,” Muir told Packer Report after the game. “Once you start thinking like that, that’s when you lose your job, you know what I mean? I don’t ever, ever think like that. Never. Once you get complacent, that’s when you end up losing. Since the beginning of camp, I’ve been telling myself, ‘Go hard every day and have fun.’ That’s what I’ve done. The one thing I can say is I had fun. Hopefully, I will be here and have a great year.”
It’s important to note that just because a player made the team today, it doesn’t mean he’ll be on the team on Saturday or later in the week. Rosters are extremely fluid this time of year.
Here are all the moves, by position:
— Quarterback (one player removed from roster): Rookie seventh-round pick B.J. Coleman, who the Packers want on the practice squad, was released.
— Wide receiver (four): The Packers released Diondre Borel, Tori Gurley, Dale Moss and Curenski Gilleylen. Undrafted rookie Jarrett Boykin made it as a sixth receiver.
— Running back (two): As we reported on Friday afternoon, James Starks was safe. He joins Cedric Benson, Alex Green and Brandon Saine, with John Kuhn at fullback. Released were Marc Tyler and fullback Nic Cooper.
— Offensive line (seven): The Packers placed last year’s first-round pick, Sherrod, on the PUP list, meaning he can’t practice until after Week 6. Versatile Reggie Wells, who was added midway through training camp, was released, leaving just two backups: veteran Evan Dietrich-Smith and undrafted rookie Don Barclay. Presumably, general manager Ted Thompson is working the phones in hopes of bringing in at least one veteran backup. Also out are seventh-round pick Andrew Datko, first-year center/guard Sampson Genus and undrafted rookies Tommie Draheim, Shea Allard and Greg Van Roten.
— Tight end (one): Undrafted rookie Brandon Bostick was released.
— Defensive line (two): Joining Muir is end Lawrence Guy, who had a good camp but was caught up in the numbers at a deep position. Phillip Merling is the sixth defensive lineman.
— Linebacker (one): So’oto was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury apparently sustained on Thursday against Kansas City. Rookie fifth-round pick Terrell Manning, who had an up-and-down night, made the team.
— Cornerback (one): Brandian Ross made it in part because of a strong camp and Davon House’s shoulder injury. House will be given a chance to play in Week 1, according to a source. Otis Merrill, an undrafted rookie, was released.
— Safety (one): Anthony Levine was released for a third consecutive training camp. He was beat out by undrafted rookie Sean Richardson, we reported earlier in the day.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.