With the Green Bay Packers’ duo of fullbacks sidelined by injuries, general manager Brian Gutekunst signed veteran Tommy Bohanon on Monday.
It’s an interesting signing. Danny Vitale had all but won a roster spot before missing most of Saturday’s practice and all of Sunday’s practice with a calf injury. His do-it-all skill-set fit coach Matt LaFleur’s offensive system.
“In a non-disrespectful way, he has surprised all of us with his athleticism,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said last week. “You look at him sometimes, you think meathead, weight room guy, but you realize he can run, he can catch, he can read coverages. He’s been very impressive. He’s made multiple plays where you’ve been kind of like, ‘Wow.’ He’s gonna be on the team.”
On the other hand, Bohanon is entering his sixth NFL season. At this point in his career, Bohanon probably wasn’t going to sign somewhere to simply be a camp body to get a team through a bump in the road injury-wise. However, Vitale's injury is not serious.
Bohanon (6-1, 246) was a sixth-round pick by the New York Jets in 2013. He played three seasons for the Jets and the last two seasons with Jacksonville, where current Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett held that title with the Jaguars. In 68 career games (30 starts), he’s rushed 26 times for 78 yards (2.8 average) and two touchdowns and caught 29 passes for 239 yards (8.2 average) and one touchdown. He played all 16 games for the Jags last season, catching six passes for 41 yards and rushing once for 0 yards.
“Yesterday we were driving back from Jacksonville," said Katie Bohanon, his wife. "We were actually in a moving truck when Tommy got the phone call that the (Packers) wanted him to fly out of Orlando because that was the closest airport. He jumped out of the moving truck and we went straight to the airport, got on the plane, and had a successful tryout.
“Tommy is the most important person to me in this world, so when you see them succeed and achieve the things they want to achieve, it's amazing.”
With Vitale and Malcolm Johnson (groin) on the sideline, Bohanon will give the Packers a fullback to at least get through practice in the short term and potentially push the team to keep a second fullback on the roster.
The signing gives the Packers a full 90-man roster.