Packers waive TE Kennard Backman; John Crockett's injury could settle RB depth chart

The Packers waived Kennard Backman after the tight end was injured in last Friday's preseason game. Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers likely will keep only three tight ends on their roster now that second-year pro Kennard Backman is out of the picture.

The Packers waived Backman on Tuesday. He will likely be released with an injury designation, meaning he can pursue a settlement, after he pulled a hamstring in last Friday’s preseason game at San Francisco. He also has a nagging knee injury that could require arthroscopic surgery.

It means Justin Perillo, who was ahead of Backman on the depth chart anyway, should be the No. 3 tight end behind Jared Cook and Richard Rodgers. Tight end Mitchell Henry is also expected to be released on Tuesday in advance of the cuts to 75. The Packers were at 82 after releasing six players on Monday.

Backman also becomes the first member of the 2015 draft class to be released. The sixth-rounder played in seven regular-season games last season as a rookie and one of the two playoff games but saw a total of just 11 snaps on offense and did not catch a pass. He also played on 44 special-teams plays.

Tight end isn’t the only position that is becoming more clearly defined. At running back, John Crockett may have lost his hold on the No. 3 position after he sustained a shoulder injury against the 49ers.

Crockett is not expected to be ready for Week 1, according to a person familiar with the severity of his injury. That could open the door for undrafted rookie Brandon Burks, who had a 19-yard touchdown run against the 49ers, to fill the third halfback position.