The Green Bay Packers are taking a gamble with tight end Andrew Quarless. They’re using their one injured reserve with the designation to return slot on him.
What that means is, unlike other players whose seasons are over when they’re put on injured reserve, the Packers can reactivate Quarless after eight weeks.
Quarless sprained his knee on Monday night and is expected to be sidelined for about six weeks.
Why is this a gamble?
Each team only gets one such exemption and you usually want to use it on a guy who, you know, actually contributes. So the Packers are gambling that someone who’s useful to the team doesn’t go down with a 6-8 week type injury anytime soon.
If that happens, then they’ll either have to carry that player on the active roster or they’ll have to shut him down for the remainder of the year.
Quarless has caught just two passes for 14 yards this season, with the equally vanilla Richard Rodgers getting about 75 percent of the snaps.
In theory, this creates the roster spot the Packers will need to activate defensive lineman Letroy Guion, who returns from his three-game suspension this week.
We find it hard to believe the Packers will go with just two tight ends on their roster for very long, though. Rookie Kennard Backman is the only player behind Rodgers and he hasn’t played an offensive snap yet.
We’ve speculated that the Packers may elevate Justin Perillo from the practice squad. He briefly spent time on the Packers’ active roster last season and is known as a decent blocker.
They would have to release someone to make that happen, however.