GREEN BAY, Wis. – For the first time this season, the Green Bay Packers have had a player impacted by coronavirus, with defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Tuesday.
The Packers also signed tight end Tyler Davis off the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad. He takes the place of Dominique Dafney, who was placed on injured reserve last week with a hip injury.
Davis was a sixth-round pick last year by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played in eight games as a rookie, logging 40 snaps on offense and 76 on special teams. He was targeted twice in the passing game but didn’t catch any passes.
He caught five passes for 34 yards and one touchdown in the preseason for the Jaguars.
Davis spent his first three collegiate seasons at Connecticut, where he amassed 47 receptions for 500 yards and seven touchdowns from 2016 through 2018. During his final season with the Huskies, he recorded 22 catches for 237 yards and six touchdowns. In 2019, he was a graduate transfer to Georgia Tech. Named a captain, he caught 17 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown.
At Georgia Tech’s pro day before the 2020 draft, he measured 6-foot-4 3/8 and 252 pounds and ran his 40 in 4.71 seconds.
In a predraft interview at NFL Draft Diamonds, he named Aaron Rodgers as the best player in the NFL.
“One of my personal rules is to always stay faithful to the process,” he said in that story. “Everything you obtain in life doesn’t just happen on accident, it may take weeks, months or years, the key is sticking to that process that it will get you to where you want to go. Cheating the process or taking shortcuts is a personal rule I will never break.”
A quarterback in Mepham High School on Long Island, he threw for 2,115 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for 1,660 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior and senior. That’s where he started his career at Connecticut. Beaten out for the starting job, then-Huskies coach Bob Diaco suggested Davis switch to tight end.
“He said: ‘Tyler, you’re too athletic to be holding a clipboard on the sidelines, we need to put you somewhere,’” Davis recalled after being drafted.
“So, he said what about TE, and at first, I was hesitant about it and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it since I was a QB my whole life. But I took it because I’m a team guy and I wanted to do what was best for the team. Ever since that day, I just worked as hard as I could to become the best tight end I could possibly be and it's crazy that we are sitting here now and I’m a new member of the Jacksonville Jaguars as a tight end.”
As for Lancaster, he either tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Per agreed-upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on a player’s medical status. He had two tackles on Sunday against San Francisco in one of his better performances in a couple seasons.
Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery returned from a one-week absence from COVID last week.
Barring another roster move, Lancaster’s absence will open the door for undrafted rookie Jack Heflin. He made his NFL debut against San Francisco, playing four snaps on special teams.
“I went out there and did everything I could do,” he said after making the roster following a strong preseason. “I left a lot of plays out there, in my personal opinion, so I was at peace with whatever happened. If I was going to get cut, if I was going to get signed to the 53, I went out and gave it my all. So, I’m not going to live with regret. So, like, whatever happened, I wasn’t going to be like, ‘Oh, man, I wish I did this, I wish I did that.’ So, I guess I wasn’t really nervous. I was nervous (during) OTAs. Like, ‘Oh, I’m getting cut.’ Every day. But you go out there and just give what you’ve got. And sometimes it’s enough, and sometimes it’s not.”