The Green Bay Packers will start the 2016 season with two players on the suspended list.
On Friday, the Packers announced that the NFL had suspended backup cornerback Demetri Goodson for the first four regular-season games due to a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Suspensions are not announced until the appeals process is complete.
Goodson will join defensive tackle Mike Pennel on the sideline to start the season. On Feb. 19, Pennel was suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Goodson will be eligible to participate in offseason workouts, training camp and the preseason games but will be suspended without pay once the regular season begins.
The punishment certainly isn’t good news for Goodson, who will be fighting for a roster spot. A sixth-round pick in 2014, Goodson has been unable to find a role on the Packers’ defense. As a rookie, he was inactive for 10 of 16 games. In 2015, with the Packers replacing veteran corners Tramon Williams and Davon House, Goodson played in 14 games but most of that action came on special teams. Goodson played about 60 snaps in midseason games at Denver and Carolina — getting toasted for a touchdown vs. the Panthers. During the final 10 games (including playoffs), Goodson played only 19 snaps on defense. On special teams, he tied for fourth on the team with nine tackles.
Palmer released: Also on Friday, the Packers released linebacker Nate Palmer. A sixth-round pick as an outside linebacker in 2013, Palmer missed the entire 2014 season with a knee injury and started 10 games at inside linebacker in 2015. He finished third on the team with 80 tackles (55 solos) and added one sack and three passes defensed this past season. He lost his starting job to rookie Jake Ryan down the stretch.
Even with Clay Matthews moving back to outside linebacker, Palmer was deemed expendable with the return of Sam Barrington, who missed most of last season with an ankle injury.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.