|TE Andrew Quarless’ season is done after the Packers placed him on injured reserve.(US Presswire)|
The Packers announced two roster moves on Saturday, including placing TE Andrew Quarless and S Sean Richardson on season-ending injured reserve. The team signed RB DuJuan Harris and WR Jeremy Ross off their practice squad to fill the two open roster spots.
The Packers finally decided to shut down Quarless, who started the season on the physically unable to perform list and was only activated on Nov. 7. Quarless tore his ACL almost exactly one year ago and, despite adamantly saying to the contrary, was never fully recovered. His knee had begun to swell up again and hadn’t been healthy enough to play in a game.
It’s unclear how Richardson came to land on IR. The undrafted rookie, who missed six games at the beginning of the season with a hamstring injury, had been participating fully in practice until Thursday. Limited Thursday and Friday, he was listed as questionable for this week’s game against the Vikings with a back injury. Though he wasn’t part of the defensive rotation in the secondary, he was an active contributor on special teams.
It’s possible the Packers decided to place Richardson on IR with a relatively minor injury in order to free up a roster spot. Richardson wasn’t going to move ahead of safeties Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings or Jerron McMillian, and, with veteran CB/S Charles Woodson likely to return in a couple weeks, perhaps Green Bay decided to roll the dice on stashing Richardson in favor of a more urgently needed player at a different position.
Certainly, running back qualifies as needing a fresh body. The Packers this week announced veteran Cedric Benson had surgery for his foot injury and would remain on IR, leaving the team with only a trio of unremarkable runners: James Starks, Alex Green and FB John Kuhn.
That explains the decision to promote Harris (5-foot-7, 205 pounds), who, conspicuously, had been getting first-team reps with the offense and special teams in practice this week.
He rushed for 2,530 yards at Troy and will be the team’s third-string tailback, an unfilled job since Brandon Saine went on injured reserve two months ago.
Harris played in five games with the Jaguars last year after going undrafted. He was released by Jacksonville this season in training camp, was claimed by the Steelers, and then released again. He signed with the Packers practice squad on Oct. 24 and had been performing quite well.
Ross is the likely candidate to replace Richardson on special teams. That’s where he’s been getting the majority of his work in practice and, since he’s the seventh wide receiver on the roster, there probably won’t be many opportunities on offense for the first-year player who was with the Colts last season after going undrafted.
In college at California, Ross averaged 15.2 yards on punt returns, which was the second-highest average in school history. He also had 2,287 all-purpose yards.
Follow Packers reporter James Carlton on Twitter: @CBSPackers and @jimmycarlton88.