Another former Green Bay Packers offensive player is reuniting with former assistant Nathaniel Hackett and his Denver Broncos.
According to the NFL’s official transaction wire for September 13, the Broncos signed former Packers tight end Dominique Dafney to their practice squad on Tuesday and waived another one of their tight ends, Dylan Parham, to create room for him.
Dafney was expected to be in the mix for a roster spot with the Packers heading into 2022 training camp, but he sustained a knee injury partway through the summer and was waived once he was unable to compete at practice. While he reverted back to the Packers’ injured reserve list after going unclaimed on the waivers, the Packers made his departure final the following week when they waived him with an injury settlement.
Dafney is far from the only former Packers offensive player who has joined Hackett in Denver. The Broncos have Green Bay’s starting right tackle of the past few seasons, Billy Turner, in their lineup playing the same role. They also have wide receiver Darrius Shepherd on their practice squad and running back Damarea Crockett on their IR.
Dafney Served Primarily as Blocking TE for Packers
Dafney was a player who struggled to play up to his potential with the Packers. After joining their practice squad in October 2020, he worked his way up to the active roster before the end of the season and played a total of five games, including one in which he caught a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers — in Week 17 against Chicago. The hope was, at the time, that he could develop into a new weapon for the Packers’ tight end room, potentially one who could succeed Marcedes Lewis as a primary blocker.
In terms of blocking performance, Dafney did fine in his follow-up season in 2021. According to Pro Football Focus, he received solid grades as both a run-blocker (73.6) and pass-blocker (77.3) over the course of the season, but the bigger issue was that he missed seven games on the season with an injury hampering his overall performance. The Packers extended him a second chance for 2022; though, there wasn’t much they could do for him once he got hurt in camp and couldn’t practice anymore.
Now, the 6-foot-2, 246-pound Dafney will look to change his luck in Denver.
Packers Need More Involvement From Current TEs
The Packers’ offensive game plan didn’t get the job done in their season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, but one thing that could help them course-correct for Week 2’s home opener against the Chicago Bears is getting their tight ends more involved.
Robert Tonyan Jr., coming off a season-ending ACL surgery, looked good in his limited reps against the Vikings, catching three of his five passes for 36 yards and seeming like a weapon that could be exploited a little bit better by the Packers’ struggling passing game. Meanwhile, Josiah Deguara received one of the best overall grades from Pro Football Focus (79.9) with two catches for 28 yards on two targets over just 11 routes run. The overall production isn’t whooping, but their efficiency suggests the Packers can get much more out of them if they find better ways to work them into the game plan.
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