Position battles abound on Packers' special teams

Cheesehead

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Mar 19, 2019
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Winslow, 26, joined the Packers late in the 2020 season as an emergency punter on the practice squad. He's been well-traveled since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Chicago in '18.


After being cut at the end of training camp that year, Winslow resurfaced with the San Diego Fleet and Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football before latching on with the Arizona Cardinals after the league shut its doors.


While the Cards cut Winslow at the end of training camp, they brought him back a month later after Andy Lee suffered a hip injury and missed two games. Winslow averaged 44.2 net yards on his six punts, landing two inside the 20. He camped with Arizona again in 2020, but was again a victim of final cuts.


At long snapper, Fortunato represents Bradley's first challenge since he beat out Zach Triner as a rookie in 2018.


The former Delaware long snapper has quite the backstory, having played in his last game back in 2015. Fortunato has worked out for several teams over the past five years, even signing contracts with Indianapolis (2017) and Dallas ('20), but has yet to make it to an NFL training camp.


Meanwhile, the competition for the Packers' return job is wide open with Tyler Ervin still a free agent. Ervin's persistent wrist and rib injuries threw a wrench into Green Bay's plans for the return game last year, resulting in the Packers finishing tied for 30th on punts (4.8 yards per return) and 31st on kickoffs (18.9 ypr).


Green Bay finished the year with receiver Malik Taylor (18.6 ypr) and veteran Tavon Austin (4.7 ypr) handling kickoffs and punts, respectively. Like Ervin, Austin remains unsigned.


With the re-signing of veteran Will Redmond, the Packers bring back all their "core-four" special-teams players with Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Randy Ramsey, Vernon Scott and Taylor all under contract for 2021.
 
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