No surprises as Packers make cuts early

There were no surprises Sunday as the Green Bay Packers reduced their roster to the mandated 74 players two days ahead of schedule.

The Packers released 13 players and placed two others on injured lists. Coupled with nine roster exemptions for players who participated in NFL Europe this spring, the Packers will take 74 players onto the practice field Monday, the final day of two-a-day practices.

Placed on season-ending injured reserve was second-year offensive tackle Brennan Curtin. Curtin missed most of training camp with a contagious staph infection, and then a few days after making his practice-field debut, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Aug. 21 against the New Orleans Saints.

Placed on the reserve/PUP list was second-year cornerback Chris Johnson. Johnson, the fastest player in the 2003 draft, spent last season on injured reserve after injuring his knee during an impressive training camp. This time, Johnson suffered a stress fracture on the same leg as the knee injury during the off-season. He was able to practice on a limited basis during the minicamps but has not practiced during training camp.

Johnson will miss the first six regular-season games. At that point, he can be added to the roster, placed on injured reserve or be released.

The 13 players waived were wide receivers Sam Breeden and Reggie Love, running back Dahrran Diedrick, tight end Keith Willis, fullback Kris Briggs, guard/center James Broyles, guard/tackle Mike Collins, tackle Jason Hilliard, safety Kevin Curtis, cornerback Chris Day, linebacker Maurice Jones, defensive tackle Ken Kocher and defensive end Seante Williams.

Some of those players could be a candidate for the practice squad, which the Packers can begin signing players to starting at 11 a.m. Sept. 6.

The roster exemptions expire at 3 p.m. Sept. 5, when the Packers must get down to the league-mandated 53-player roster. One of those NFL Europe players is wide receiver Shockmain Davis, who broke his leg during practice a couple weeks ago and is out for the season. The Packers have not made a decision on Davis.

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