As the dust settled on the final roster moves, the Packers are opening the season light on the offensive line and heavy in the secondary. There are eleven newcomers, six of the eight draft picks made the cut, four undrafted rookie free agents and one veteran free agent. That veteran was the most surprising decision for me. Phillip Merling, the former second round pick of Miami out of Clemson, beat out former Packer and Colt Daniel Muir on the defensive line. I thought Muir outplayed Merling down to down and day to day. The four longshots who went undrafted but found their way onto the team were wide receiver Jarrett Boykin of Virginia Tech who outpeformed Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel. Safety Sean Richardson of Vanderbilt, a teammate of draft pick Casey Hayward, linebacker Dezmon Moses of Tulane who impressed from the day he stepped onto the field in the spring and West Virginia offensive lineman Don Barclay. He joins holdover Evan Dietrich-Smith as the only backups on the offensive line. Just seven linemen are on the 53 man roster but the Packers did stockpile three onto their practice squad, draft pick Andrew Datko, free agent Greg Van Roten and former Pittsburgh Steeler Chris Scott. Green Bay kept a big number, 11 defensive backs but one, Brandian Ross, will probably be cut after the first week when linebacker Erik Walden's suspension is over. Another linebacker, Vic So'oto wound up on injured reserve with an ankle injury while Derrick Sherrod was placed on the phsyically unable to perform list, meaning his broken leg recovery will continue for another six weeks.
The team returned to the practice field on Monday after getting three days off following their pre-season finale. The first injury report of the week heading into Sunday's season opener against the 49ers will be issued after Wednesday's practice.