Packers protect QB Kurt Benkert and pair of specialists on practice squad in Week 1

The Green Bay Packers used three of the team’s four available practice squad protections on the No. 3 quarterback and a pair of specialists.

According to the league’s transaction wire, the Packers protected quarterback Kurt Benkert, kicker JJ Molson and long snapper Steve Wirtel on the practice squad in Week 1.

Teams are allowed to protect four players on the practice during every non-bye week during the regular season. When protected, players cannot be signed off a team’s practice squad for that week.

By protecting Benkert, Molson and Wirtel, the Packers will avoid potential emergency situations at quarterback, kicker and long snapper in Week 1. All three cannot be signed to another team’s practice squad until next Tuesday at the earliest.

The Packers want to keep developing Benkert on the practice squad and could protect him most weeks. Molson provides quality insurance for 37-year-old kicker Mason Crosby, and Wirtel is real competition for inconsistent long snapper Hunter Bradley.

The Packers can protect one more player if need be.

Like last season, teams can elevate two players from the practice squad every week, but each individual player can only be elevated twice during the season.


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