Packers trim down to 53-man roster limit

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The Green Bay Packers cut 20 players Saturday, including linebacker Spencer Havner, and placed two more on injured reserve to reach the 53-man roster limit.

Havner played offense, defense and special teams in the final three preseason games, but he was cut when the Packers chose to keep four tight ends. They included starter Jermichael Finley, backup Donald Lee, blocking specialist Tom Crabtree and fifth-round draft pick Andrew Quarless.

Offensive lineman Allen Barbre and return man Will Blackmon were the two players placed on injured reserve. Barbre was the opening-day starter at right tackle last year but hurt his back in camp, and Blackmon is coming off a torn ACL in his left knee.

Their move to IR was a procedural part of being released after an injury settlement.

Three undrafted free agents made the team: linebacker Frank Zombo, cornerback Sam Shields and offensive lineman Nick McDonald.

Among the 20 players who were released were offensive lineman Breno Giacomini, whom the team was trying to trade; wide receiver Jason Chery, who was vying to take over the return duties from Blackmon; and Australian punter Chris Bryan, who was battling Tim Masthay for the job.

Also released were running back Kregg Lumpkin; offensive linemen Evan Dietrich-Smith and Chris Campbell; receivers Charles Dillon, Chastin West and Patrick Williams; defensive linemen Anthony Toribio, Jarius Wynn and Ronald Talley; linebackers Cyril Obiozor, Maurice Simpkins, Alex Joseph and Robert Francois; cornerback D.J. Clark, safety Anthony Levine and quarterback Graham Harrell.

The Packers kept 10 offensive linemen, including starters Chad Clifton, Daryn Colledge, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton and Mark Tauscher. First-round draft pick Bryan Bulaga, veteran backup Jason Spitz, T.J. Lang, rookie Marshall Newhouse were the others.

Wynn made the team as a sixth-round pick last year, but he was released in favor of oft-injured 2007 first-round pick Justin Harrell and rookie seventh-round pick C.J. Wilson. They join starters Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins along with rookie second-round pick Mike Neal as the team's six defensive linemen.

Safety Atari Bigby (ankle) and two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Al Harris (knee) are on the physically unable to perform list and will sit the first six weeks of the season, so the Packers kept 10 defensive backs: Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, Jarrett Bush and Shields, and safeties Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett, Derrick Martin and Charlie Peprah.

General manager Ted Thompson said last week that he would seek to bolster the roster via trades, but he was unable to do so before the final cuts.

''We are certainly actively involved in looking at other teams and players on other teams,'' he said. ''You never know, but we're always going to try to get better.''

Tagged: Packers, Ryan Pickett, Al Harris, Donald Lee, Will Blackmon, Pat Lee, Chris Bryan

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