Nothing Ted does with punters surprises me… well, nothing Ted does with punters should surprise me.
I was, however, surprised when he cut my boy Jake Schum. Later it came out that he was actually injured, which meant that if he cleared waivers, he would return to the team on IR.
He did and he did.
Now, the guy who did so much better than people give him credit for last year if back. He’s on IR, but it’s preseason IR, which means that Schum can be activated by week 6 without using a get out of jail free return from IR card.
Why would Ted do this?
To save a roster spot. The punter doesn’t need to work with the rest of the team to be evaluated on how he meshes with his teammates like, say, an offensive lineman would. The Packers saw him all last year and know what they think of him.
UDFA Justin Vogel is handling the offseason punting duties for now and, despite what people I respect think about him, I do not, under any circumstances, think the Packers are all in on their UDFA punter at this point.
I think Ted wants to squeeze out one more roster spot (because you never know when guy #90 will develop into guy #53 like a Kentrell Brice) while he watches Vogel. If Vogel starts absolutely killing it in the preseason, Schum will get an injury settlement with his walking papers. If, however, Vogel is who we thought he was, he will quietly be sent on his way when Schum gets brought off of IR (probably around the third of fourth preseason game so he can get a little live action in before week 1 – unless the injury truly is severe and not just Ted rickrolling the roster rules).
I think Schum will be back, but given Ted’s history, the odds-on favorite for opening day starter should still probably be The Field.