The Green Bay Packers (3-2) placed offensive lineman Greg Van Roten (foot) and wide receiver Randall Cobb (leg) on the injured-reserve list on Tuesday. Van Roten's season is over, while Cobb was given a designation to return to practice in six weeks.
Van Roten and Cobb helped clear up two roster spots for wide receiver Myles White and tight end Jake Stoneburner. Packers General Manager Ted Thompson promoted White and Stoneburner from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Tuesday.
The Packers were reportedly interested in signing wide receiver Tavarres King off of the Denver Broncos practice squad earlier this week, but the Broncos decided to officially sign King to their active roster on Tuesday.
So who are Myles White and Jake Stoneburner? Both players are undrafted rookies with checkered pasts who didn't do quite enough to earn a roster spot in August, but both players can help the Packers rather depleted wide receiver core.
"I expect those guys to be ready to play," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "They are very well-coached and they care about getting better. We've seen improvement from both of those guys from the start of their time with us until now and it's exciting those guys will get their opportunity."
Stoneburner, a 6'3, 249-pound tight end, has excellent hands and athleticism. At Ohio State from 2009-2012, Stoneburner caught 53 passes for 714 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.
During his senior year, Stoneburner was switched from tight end to wide receiver and he also served as an H-Back, essentially a tight end out of the offensive backfield, in the Buckeyes' run-first offensive attack. Stoneburner could potentially work his way into a similar role in Green Bay.
Off of the field though, Stoneburner was suspended indefinitely, along with one other Buckeye teammate, after they were both given misdemeanor charges of obstructing official business. Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer stripped Stoneburner of his scholarship but Stoneburner earned his scholarship and his job back by the end of fall practice.
Stoneburner will likely be listed behind Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor and Brandon Bostick on the depth chart. If activated for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, Stoneburner would likely play heavily on special teams.
White, a 6', 182-pound wide receiver, is a tiny guy with great quickness who the Packers were fortunate enough to keep around after training camp. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he liked what White had brought to the Packers during training camp and White will definitely get his chance in Green Bay with Cobb on the sidelines.
White is a talented receiver but his past off-field issues were costly to his draft stock. White began his collegiate career at Michigan State and he caught two passes for 86 yards before trouble had reined down in East Lansing.
White was charged with public urination and a misdemeanor assault after participating in a residential hall fight on campus in 2009. The Spartans indefinitely suspended White from the team and one year later, White began playing football at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
In 2010 at Northwest Mississippi, White caught 53 passes for 712 yards and six touchdowns. After leading the team in each receiving category, White earned a scholarship to play for head coach Sonny Dykes (now the head coach at the University of California) at Louisiana Tech.
Opposite of future fourth-round draft pick and San Francisco 49ers' wide receiver Quinton Patton, White caught 86 passes for 1,132 yards and nine touchdowns in two years at Louisiana Tech.
White could serve as the team's no.3 wide receiver behind Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin this weekend, as fellow wideout James Jones recovers from a knee sprain suffered against the Baltimore Ravens.
Packers fans are hoping White and Stoneburner could become two more undrafted players who can make an impact in Green Bay. The Packers are hopeful both players can become just another great example of the Packer Way, not an exception.
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