GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP)The Green Bay Packers cut wide receiver Jake Kumerow, offensive lineman Alex Light and linebacker Tim Williams among others as they got their roster down to the 53-man limit heading to their Sept. 13 opener at Minnesota.
”This is the toughest time of the year for us,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Friday in advance of the cuts. ”Any time you’re knocking on the door of cutdowns, you’ve got so much appreciation for what our guys do, how they battle and how they come to work, and it’s always tough when you take that away from somebody. As excited as we are to start the season, it is, this day (Saturday) especially, is a difficult day just because you have relationships formed with these guys and you just, you want the best for them.”
Kumerow’s absence from the roster was one of the biggest surprises. Kumerow, who played on two Division III national championship teams at Wisconsin-Whitewater, caught a touchdown pass each of the last two years and had 12 receptions for 219 yards in 2019.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had called Kumerow ”super reliable” while discussing Green Bay’s receivers in a Zoom session with reporters Wednesday.
Cutting Kumerow created a spot for another former small-school receiver in Malik Taylor, a 2019 undrafted free agent from Ferris State. Taylor spent last season on Green Bay’s practice squad after getting released by Tampa Bay.
Taylor said Wednesday in a Zoom session with reporters that he felt more settled in this year even without the benefit of offseason training activities due to the pandemic.
”Everybody did a great job with the Zoom meetings,” Taylor said. ”It gave me an opportunity to dig in at the details a little more and just hearing some of the same terminology as last year, it helped me a lot. It’s just allows me to play fast, allows me to go out there and make some plays, and gain trust with the coaching staff and the quarterbacks.”
Light appeared in 13 games last season as he earned playing time at both tackle spots and also contributed on special teams. The 2018 undrafted free agent from Richmond played three games in 2018. He didn’t make any starts the last two seasons.
Williams was drafted in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens in 2017 after playing at Alabama. Last year, he played four games for the Ravens and one for the Packers, who claimed him off waivers on Oct. 2.
Also cut was 2020 sixth-round draft pick Jake Hanson, a center from Oregon. The Packers’ only other 2020 draft choice not to make the 53-man active roster was guard Simon Stepaniak, a sixth-round selection from Indiana who went on the non-football injury list.
Running back Patrick Taylor, an undrafted free agent from Memphis, also went on that list. Linebacker Curtis Bolton was given the physically unable to perform designation.
Other cuts included cornerback DaShaun Amos and Stanford Samuels; linebackers Krys Barnes, Tipa Galeai, Greg Roberts and Delontae Scott; tight end Evan Baylis; wide receivers Reggie Begelton, Darrius Shepherd and Malik Turner; safety Henry Black; offensive tackles Cody Conway and John Leglue; running backs Damarea Crockett and Dexter Williams; guard Zack Johnson; fullback John Lovett; and defensive lineman Willington Previlon.
Baylis played five games for the Packers last season, primarily on special teams. Williams, a 2019 sixth-round pick from Notre Dame, played four games last year and had five carries for 11 yards.
Begelton was trying to make the transition to the NFL from the CFL after catching 102 passes for the Calgary Stampeders in 2019. Shepherd played six games for the Packers last season, mostly on special teams. Lovett, a former Princeton quarterback, had been claimed off waivers last month from Kansas City after spending last season on injured reserve.
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