GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers released guard Cole Madison on Friday.
Madison was a fifth-round draft pick in 2018 with the hope he could become the team’s next midround starting guard. Instead, his trials and tribulations ended his Packers career before it really began.
In January 2018, Madison’s quarterback at Washington State, Tyler Hilinski, was found dead in his apartment, lying next to a gun and a suicide note. Madison already was fighting his own personal issues, and his friend’s death shot him careening down a dark and scary path. He competed with the team during the offseason practices but was a no-show for training camp and wound up skipping the entire season. Madison returned to the team last year and made the 53-man roster.
“I’ve got nothing but thanks for the Green Bay Packers and Gutey for their support during this time away and all the resources they gave me,” Madison said at the time. “And my family, too, and them being there for me. And all my friends, I wouldn’t be here without them. I wouldn’t have made it here without them. It was a group effort. It took everything – my ability to get where I am mentally off the field and physically on the field. I can’t begin to describe how thankful I am for everybody who was with me during the past year. It means the world.”
However, Madison suffered a torn ACL at practice in late November. That’s bad timing; even an aggressive nine-month comeback would have sidelined him deep into training camp. Making matters worse, the Packers added three interior linemen in the sixth round of this year’s draft. In two years, he hasn’t played a single snap in the regular season.
Those realities cost Madison his job. He didn’t play a snap and was inactive in all 10 games on the roster.
The team also released undrafted rookie fullback Jordan Jones. Jones played tight end at Prairie View, where he caught passes from rookie Packers quarterback Jalen Morton. As a senior, he caught 28 passes for 497 yards (17.8 average) and four touchdowns. He projected to fullback but probably lost his job on Thursday, when the team acquired former Princeton quarterback John Lovett off waivers from Kansas City. Undrafted last year, Lovett showed some promise as an H-back last summer before a season-ending injury in camp.
Meanwhile, of the 12 players added to COVID-19 lists, none were Packers. Eight players were added to reserve/COVID-19 lists, meaning they either tested positive or have been in close contact with someone with COVID. Four others, including Giants left tackle Nate Solder, decided to opt out of the season.