Beat writer Tyler Dunne on the Packers' TE situation:
The rookie (Richard Rodgers) drew the start in the first preseason game and held his own. His upside is immense. The Packers have two years invested in (Brandon Bostick), and seem ready to expand his role in the offense. (Ryan Taylor) is a fierce blocker and remains one of Green Bay's top special teams players. The wild card appears to be (Andrew Quarless), who was injured the entire spring and has had a quiet camp. But the Packers have kept four tight ends every year since 2010, and even kept five in 2011. If the Packers don't stray from that philosophy, Quarless should be safe. The controversial Lyerla (knee) will likely receive an injury settlement or end up on the injured list.
Rodgers and Bostick offer explosion and playmaking ability in the passing game, while Quarless has experience after starting much of the season last year. Given that he started the first preseason game, it appears that Rodgers has the edge, but Bostick had a nifty catch and run later in the game. Stay tuned.
It's a small risk for Green Bay, which might not have the services of tight end Jermichael Finley, who is injured and a free agent. Because while Lyerla has talent, the 6-foot-4, 242-pounder also has plenty of transgressions in his past.
As CBSSports.com wrote on his draft profile, "[He] abruptly quit the team on Oct. 6, calling his choice to leave the Ducks as a "personal decision." This occurred after missing the Ducks' Sept. 14 game against Tennessee for what Lyerla later called the stomach flu but head coach Mark Helfrich characterized simply as "circumstances." Arrested Oct. 23, 2013 when undercover police discovered inhaling a "white powdery substance" inside a car. Lyerla later admitted the substance was cocaine. This was hardly Lyerla's only run-in with police. He had his driver's license suspended Oct. 11, 2013, after receiving four driving tickets in the previous 24 months."
Lyerla has a long track record of off field issues but as he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in February, "I put myself in a position where my back's against the wall, to the point that if I don't do everything perfect and the right way, I won't be able to play football, let alone be successful in any shape or form."
Friday, December 27, 2013, 6:31pm
Thursday, December 26, 2013, 6:21pm
Brandon Bostick could very well be the Packers' future at tight end given the likelihood that Jermichael Finley will not return to the team next season. Finley suffered a herniated disc in his neck and is recovering from single-level fusion surgery, according to a report.
The Packers also have Andrew Quarless and Ryan Taylor to fill the void Finley has left, but neither of them has the Finley-like athletic qualities that Bostick does. The 6-3, 255-pound tight end ran faster and jumped higher than Finley coming out of college and has people pondering the limits of his ability.
"I think there's a lot of potential there," receiver James Jones said. "No. 1, he's extremely fast for his position. He has great hands and if he can just get it in his mind that nobody can stop him, and go out there and play the way he plays at practice, he's going to become a great player because he has all the tools."
Bostick has just four catches for 68 yards this season, but his recent contribution has the coaches contemplating how good he can be. At Newberry, he was a dominant receiver and even played one year of basketball. But it took him a year of being on the practice squad and improved special teams play to get him where he is now.
"He has a lot of potential," offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. "He's gotten better. He has a lot of physical tools to work with. He's doing well; he can do better."
But to get on the field more, Bostick has to block better. It has been the pebble in his shoe since making the switch to tight end, and while he has made a lot of gains, it was obvious against the Giants that when a blocker was needed Quarless or Taylor was called upon.
"He's made the most of his opportunities," tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot said. "That's a positive. We still have some things we'd like to clean up and improve, but he's definitely taking a step in the right direction."
It's doubtful that Bostick suddenly becomes startable this year in redraft leagues, but dynasty/keeper owners should take note. It's very unlikely that Finley will be back at 2014, so the Packers have a large hole at TE.
LB Lance Briggs (shoulder), QB Jay Cutler (groin)
WR Joe Anderson (abdomen)
LB Blake Costanzo (knee), CB Charles Tillman (knee), S Major Wright (knee)
TE Jermichael Finley (neck), LB Clay Matthews (thumb)
LB Nick Perry (foot)
WR James Jones (knee)
LB Brad Jones (hamstring), CB Sam Shields (toes), TE Ryan Taylor (knee)
Jones was limited in practice Thursday through Saturday this week. Some beat reporters said he looked like he was doing everything on Saturday, but in reality it appears to be the dreaded game-time decision for Jones. If you don't have a backup plan, you should probably move on from Jones and go another direction again this week. Jarrett Boykin would lose a little value if Jones plays.
Friday, November 1, 2013, 6:11pm
Thursday, October 31, 2013, 6:09pm
Sunday, October 27, 2013, 8:15pm
Friday, October 25, 2013, 7:59pm
Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 6:13pm
Packers TE Jermichael Finley (neck) was ruled out for Week 8. Ryan Taylor (knee) did not practice Wednesday. Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick figure to fill in while Finley is out, which could be for the remainder of the season.
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