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Packers start roster trim with five cuts

By Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
September 1, 2015

GREEN BAY—The Green Bay Packers began the process of cutting their roster down to the mandated 75 by releasing five players Monday.

Those waived were: inside linebacker Tavarus Dantzler, offensive tackle Fabbians Ebbele, inside linebacker Josh Francis, defensive tackle Lavon Hooks and offensive tackle Vince Kowalski.

The Packers have until 3 p.m. today to get to the 75-man limit. They practice at 12:15 p.m. and could conceivably make their eight remaining moves after the workout.

Among those likely moves is receiver Jordy Nelson being placed on season-ending injured reserve. Also injured with little chance of being ready for the regular season is receiver Javess Blue (shoulder). He could be put on injured reserve or be waived injured.

The Packers will have to make a decision by Saturday on reeiver Jared Abbrederis, who has missed every practice but one with a concussion. He appears close to coming back, but with only one practice remaining, there isn't time for the Packers to see whether he can help them. They could put him on injured reserve and give him another year to build up his body.

They also could release him and hope to get him back on the practice squad.

None of the five moves was surprising. Four of the five were undrafted rookies who were long shots to make the team and the other, Francis, was signed off the street. Three of the five—Kowalski, Hooks and Francis—did not receive signing bonuses and thus will receive no salary for their offseason and training camp efforts.

Dantzler received a $5,000 signing bonus and Ebbele $2,500.

Dantzler, who played at Bethune-Cookman, had the size the team was looking for inside but wasn't able to crack the top five and saw very limited playing time in the exhibition games. He played seven snaps against Philadelphia on Saturday night.

Ebbele, massive at 6-foot-8 and 315 pounds, received a lot of snaps in camp, mostly at left tackle. But with veteran Don Barclay likely to make the team and Josh Walker also a good bet, there wasn't a need for another tackle. Ebbele played just six snaps against the Eagles.

Francis was in a similar situation as Dantzer. He played just five snaps against the Eagles.

Hooks, who played at Mississippi, and Kowalski, who played at Villanova, were not close to making the 53. Kowalski missed nine days with a concussion.