GreenBay Packer Nation

Roster Volatility a Concern Heading into Week 1

Week 1 of the 2016 season presents an opportunity for the Packers to reverse the very mediocre image created of themselves during the second half of the 2015 season. Not helping the team achieve full readiness were some rather surprising roster moves made before the 53-man deadline last week by Ted Thompson and the Packers front office.

The sudden release of pro bowl guard Josh Sitton topped all headlines during the final roster cuts last weekend, a move that will be sure to affect the chemistry that the veteran Packers offensive line had built over the course of multiple seasons. While the Packers coaching staff appears confident in multi-year backup Lane Taylor, one must imagine that the removal of one of the league’s best guards will, in some way, affect offensive production.

As the O-line attempts to re-establish continuity, Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, Jordy Nelson, is set to return to the starting lineup. Though Nelson claims his knee feels 100%, the nine-year pro saw no live action during the preseason and had limited practice opportunities during training camp.

On the special teams front, the Packers made more last-minute moves, including the releases of long-time punter Tim Masthay and underperforming long-snapper Rick Lovato. And as the Packers start new punter Jacob Schum and welcome back Brett Goode at long snapper, several of the team’s top special teamers – including Chris Banjo and Jeff Janis – are all listed on this week’s injury report.

While the Packers are fortunate to be opening the season against one of the league’s perennial underachieving teams, their performance on Sunday could be negatively impacted by the volatile nature of the roster over the past two weeks. It’s difficult to envision the far less talented Jaguars pulling an upset on Sunday, but one can certainly expect the Packers to come out looking disjointed and off-cadence to start the 2016 season.