The NFL as a whole doesn’t value the fullback position at all. The Green Bay Packers do, however.
They are one of the few organizations to still employ the fullback. And if you thought maybe they’d only be carrying one of those guys on the roster this year, you might be wrong.
The Packers finished 2016 with two fullbacks — Aaron Ripkowski, a former draft pick, and Joe Kerridge, a former undrafted free agent.
If you ask quarterback Aaron Rodgers, both guys are going to be part of the offense again in 2017.
“I think there’s opportunities behind Ty [Montgomery] for those guys to jump up and take that over,” Rodgers said. “I still think 22 [Ripkowski] is going to be in the mix when it comes to running the football. He showed a lot last year late in the season, running the football really well, and did some great things for us in the playoffs. He’s very reliable back there.”
Ripkowski, when he isn’t fumbling, has been a fairly reliable fixture in the Packers’ offense. Kerridge, who was a late-season addition to the roster in 2016, has just been a bit player. Still, Rodgers had praise for him too.
“I think Joe has had a fantastic camp,” Rodgers said. “So we have the luxury we haven’t had since John [Kuhn] left, with two really solid fullbacks. I think they’re both having great camps.”
It almost beckons back to the days when the Packers kept three fullbacks. Remember the triumvirate of John Kuhn, Korey Hall and Quinn Johnson?
You might think that’s two too many fullbacks, but it appears the Packers will keep two guys again this year. And that almost limits their ability to keep the three running backs they drafted, who sit behind Ty Montgomery on the depth chart.