Wide receiver Jason Chery is getting an opportunity to make the Green Bay Packers as a return man.
After returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in last week’s win over Indianapolis, Chery will return all punts and kickoffs in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Will Blackmon, who was thought to be the Packers primary return man, has been in and out of practice with a sore knee, although he says he’ll be ready for the season opener. If Chery performs well, Blackmon could be headed for the physically unable to perform list or even the waiver wire.
Chery, who was signed on Aug. 5 after Jeff Moturi went on injured reserve, may not have a lot of experience, but he does have quite a bit of speed. The Packers have clocked him at 4.29 and 4.32 in the 40-yard dash.
“He has tremendous speed. There’s no question about that. He plays with it in the return game, you can see that just in his time out here on the practice field and also in the game,” coach Mike McCarthy said.
“But that’s a tough situation to come into a multiple offensive scheme, come from somewhere where there’s not a whole lot of carry-over terminology-wise. So it’s been a tough transition for him from a playbook standpoint in the passing game and with our offense. But he’s going to have a big opportunity here on special teams Thursday.”
Chery spent time on the practice squad with Pittsburgh and Carolina last year. If he shows anything on Thursday, he may just find himself on an NFL roster.
I’m a firm believer that we need a KR/PR on the roster. Blackmon is great as a PR, but many questions remain about his durability and availability.
What really gets me is that the guy had to beg Slocum to get out there and show off his stuff. If he’s that fast, and that was the primary reason for putting Shields in those situations, what does Slocum have up his rear as to not give him a chance?
I mean we finished tied for last in ST (or close to it) last year. Why does Slocum even have a job?
That being said, I think a KR/PR has a roster spot. Assuming that guy is Chery (and who knows at this point) he is clearly not a very good receiver. So, who loses out? Crabtree? Swain?