GREEN BAY – All that remains now is to wait.
That’s all a few dozen players in the Packers’ roster bubble can do as Tuesday’s 3 pm CT deadline for cuts approaches.
All NFL teams must have reached the league-mandated 53-player limit by that time and then, after a waiver period that runs through Wednesday morning, players can begin being re-signed to teams. of practice.
It’s an anxious and uncomfortable time for everyone involved, but while head coach Matt LaFleur acknowledged how “emotional” it can be, it’s also “the nature of the beast.”
“It’s really tough, because everybody wants to be here,” undrafted rookie running back Tyler Goodson said after Monday’s practice, the last before roster decisions. “Everybody wants a chance to be in the locker room with the guys, be on the field and want to play in general.
“It’s definitely hard just thinking about maybe you could be here, maybe you couldn’t. You just have to hope for the best, let the film speak for itself, and let your work speak for itself.”
Goodson feels he did, as the Iowa alum led the Packers in three preseason games with 29 carries for 107 yards, including a nifty 24-yard touchdown run last Thursday at Kansas City.
He’s been in a tight battle throughout training camp with last year’s No. 3 running back, Patrick Taylor, for that backup spot behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. However, Goodson does not regret the effort he put in.
“I gave it my all on each and every play, 100%,” he said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to secure a spot, and that’s really all I can give, especially knowing spots one and two at running back are going to fill up.”
Seventh-round draft pick Samori Toure took the same approach at wide receiver and, no matter what, left a positive impression. Toure, who moved from FCS Montana to Nebraska from the Big Ten to the NFL Packers the past two years, led Green Bay’s heavy receiving competition with nine catches for 125 yards in the preseason.
“I just wanted to be the best player I can be, play with good effort, good intensity,” he said. “I feel like I’ve done that and I’ve gotten better with every week and every practice. I feel like I can look in the mirror and say I did everything. That’s really the most important part.”
“I think I showed them that I’m a talented receiver and that I can play in this league and that I’m going to be someone willing to contribute in any way that I can.”
Hanging out on Tuesday until you get news one way or another can be an uncomfortable challenge. Goodson mentioned that he’ll probably talk to the family, maybe play video games. Toure also mentioned video games or movies in her hotel room.
Chris Slayton, a defensive lineman who was a seventh-round rookie in 2019 with the Giants, has been through this several times. He has spent time on five different practice squads in the last three years and is still struggling to find a home in the NFL.
Claimed off waivers by the Packers this spring, Slayton was a workhorse last month, playing 131 snaps inside the defensive line over three preseason games and holding up well. He’s in a very tough position group to break with the Packers, a familiar situation for him.
“I’ll try not to think about it until the time comes,” Slayton said. “So we’ll see.
“I try not to stress about it. Just wait and see what happens.”
Slayton is Exhibit A of never giving up, regardless of what is said on Tuesday afternoon. Others have found the success they were looking for, if not immediately, and their stories are known throughout the locker room.
“There are guys like that all over the league,” Toure said. “Even on this team, Rasul (Douglas) has been cut before, (Allen) Lazard, Bobby (Tonyan) has been cut. It’s definitely not what I want, but, if it happens, I’m not going to get super hit by it. I’m going to see it like, ‘Okay, this is part of my story.
However, that prospect doesn’t entirely ease a restless night.
“I’ll be lying in bed thinking about it for sure,” Goodson said Monday. “At the end of the day, all I can do is pray, hope for the best. If I stay, I will give everything I have. If I don’t, there are more opportunities ahead.”