Packers 2016 Recap: RB Jhurell Pressley
Did not play
Expectations going into the season: Low
Expectations were: Not Met
Analysis: Pressley denied opportunity after Shields injury
Jhurell Pressley, a 5-foot-10, 206 pound running back, ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. A performance like that usually secures your place in the seven round NFL Draft. Pressley’s name wasn’t called, and he bounced around three NFL teams in a strange rookie season.
After the draft, he latched on with the Minnesota Vikings, and impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. In the final game of the preseason, Pressley took a pass two yards behind the line of scrimmage and rumbled 28 yards into the endzone, breaking tackles and diving into the endzone.
Later, he returned a kick 106 yards for a touchdown. It was the first time Pressley had returned a kickoff since high school, he later told Ryan Wood of PackersNews.com.
Arguably, no one in the NFL made a better impression in their last opportunity of the preseason. Pressley left the field feeling confident he would be spending his rookie year backing up superstar Adrian Peterson. He was cut two days after the game and told there was no room on the practice squad for him, as the team wished to develop a bigger tailback.
In a twist of fate, Pressley found himself on the roster of the Vikings’ rival. Green Bay signed Pressley a day after his release from Minnesota. He was inactive for the Packers’ opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but it didn’t matter. Week two’s primetime matchup between the Packers and Vikings had to have been on Pressley’s mind.
What was on general manager Ted Thompson’s mind, though, was something different. Pressley was a casualty of cornerback Sam Shields’ concussion. In need of a roster spot for a defensive back, Pressley was released and told by the Packers to hang around and that the team would re-sign him after the Vikings’ game.
That opportunity never came, and for Pressley it took a month until another NFL team came knocking.
By late October, he found himself signed to the practice squad of the Falcons. Coincidentally, his arrival in Atlanta coincided on the same day as the team released former Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk. He spent the remainder of the season on their practice squad.