The Green Bay Packers made three roster moves on Tuesday, which is usually a busy transaction day for teams coming out of a game during the previous week and entering the new week. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst placed defensive lineman Dean Lowry on injured reserve, signed wide receiver Bo Melton from the practice squad of the Seattle Seahawks and released outside linebacker Tipa Galeai from injured reserve.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the three moves:
Lowry to IR
Lowry, who is now in his seventh season, injured his calf after seven snaps in Miami and will now miss the rest of the regular season and likely the rest of the season overall. Going on injured reserve means missing at least four games; Lowry wouldn’t be eligible to return – in a scenario where the Packers make the playoffs – until the NFC Championship Game.
Lowry has played 482 snaps (10th most among Packers defenders) over 15 games. He’s produced 17 pressures, 18 stops and one batted pass but has mostly struggled to create impactful plays along the line of scrimmage.
Without Lowry the rest of the way, the Packers will be forced to give more snaps to first-round pick Devonte Wyatt, who is starting to look more and more disruptive. Consistency will be key for the rookie in a bigger role. His struggles against the run could create even bigger issues for the Packers in that area down the stretch, but his athleticism could provide a jolt for the Packers’ pass rush.
Expect more opportunities for nose tackle TJ Slaton as well. The Packers could also call on rookie Jonathan Ford or elevate Chris Slayton from the practice squad.
Lowry is a trusted veteran player in Green Bay but his absence doesn’t have to be a negative if Wyatt starts coming on here late in his rookie season.
Signed Melton from Seattle
Lowry’s placement on injured reserve opened up a roster spot, which was filled by the arrival of Melton from Seattle. The rookie from Rutgers was a seventh-round pick of the Seahawks this year, but he’s been on Seattle’s practice squad throughout the regular season.
Melton could be interesting as a long-term project player. He’s fast (4.34) and has experience playing many roles on special teams, including as a gunner and returner. He fits the Packers’ type at receiver and his athleticism is excellent; Melton’s Relative Athletic Score (RAS) is 9.24 out of 10.0.
It’s possible the Packers could see Melton as a backup plan at returner, where Keisean Nixon is dealing with a new groin injury, and also as depth at receiver, where Christian Watson has a new hip injury.
Release Galeai from IR
The Packers initially placed Tipa Galeai on injured reserve after he suffered a hamstring injury during the team’s loss to the New York Giants in October. He was designated for return from injured reserve in November but was never activated during his 21-day window, which meant reverting back to injured reserve. A setback of the original hamstring injury is likely, and now the final result is an injury settlement.
Galeai made the 53-man roster coming out of training camp as a backup edge rusher and core special teamer. He played 85 snaps on special teams during the first five weeks. The Packers needed the depth after losing Rashan Gary, but the emergence of Justin Hollins and rookie Kingsley Enagbare has helped over the last month.