Releasing Sherrod Eliminated Backup Plan

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said it was not an easy decision to release Derek Sherrod on Monday. The devastating injury sustained late during his rookie season leaves a potential hole on the roster. (Steven Bisig/USA TODAY)

The broken leg sustained at Kansas City during Derek Sherrod’s rookie season eventually ended his Green Bay Packers career.

The Packers released Sherrod, their first-round pick in 2011, in a surprise move on Monday. Because of an injury that cost him all of 2012 and most of 2013, Sherrod started only one game in his career.

“Derek Sherrod, that was a tough one on everybody on a personal level on a number of different fronts,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday. “To watch what he went through, that was a big-time injury. It was probably one of the worst ones I’ve stood over. He did everything he could. It was not an easy decision, but it was a decision we felt we needed to make.”

The decision left the Packers without a clear-cut backup tackle. Behind the starting five, the backups are J.C. Tretter, Garth Gerhart and Lane Taylor. Tretter started at left tackle during his final two seasons at Cornell but was groomed to be the starting center this season until he was injured in training camp. The Packers released Sherrod to make room on the roster for Tretter. Gerhart started 35 games at the interior positions at Arizona State. Taylor started 47 games at right guard for Oklahoma State.

If something were to happen to left tackle David Bakhtiari, the Packers could move right tackle Bryan Bulaga to left tackle, move right guard T.J. Lang to right tackle and insert Taylor or Tretter at guard. Or they could go with Tretter to avoid such a “musical chairs” scenario.

“You just look at the philosophy of how we draft offensive linemen. Just about every one of them has played tackle in college,” McCarthy said. “I’m not concerned about that. Who’s going to pop out and play there, I’m not really worried about it because we’ve been repping different combinations and this is something we’ve planned for and I feel like we have a good plan.”

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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