NFL

Packers place rookie G Simon Stepaniak on injured reserve

The Green Bay Packers’ corresponding roster move to adding veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer was placing one of their sixth-round draft picks on injured reserve.

The team announced rookie guard Simon Stepaniak was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.

The Packers needed to clear a roster spot for Veldheer, who was signed off the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad and practiced with the team on Tuesday.

Stepaniak, the 209th overall pick in the 2020 draft, didn’t play in a regular season game while recovering from a knee injury suffered during his final season at Indiana. He was activated from the non-football injury list on Dec. 9 and practiced with the team for the last month.

The Packers declared him inactive in all the games he was on the 53-man roster.

Stepaniak started 31 games at guard for the Hoosiers but injured his knee during preparations for the Gator Bowl. At the combine, he put up 37 reps on the bench press, showcasing his strength.

The Packers made Stepaniak one of three draft picks at offensive line in the sixth round, joining Jon Runyan and Jake Hanson. Next season, Stepaniak could battle for a roster spot in a reserve role or possibly even challenge for a starting job at guard, depending on the personnel turnover.

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