Which Iowa football rookies made NFL rosters as teams make final preseason cuts?
After several weeks of training camp buildup, one of the most important days in the NFL calendar arrived on Tuesday: final cuts for the 2022 regular season.
Teams were mandated to cut down to 80 players entering the final week, that number had to reach 53 players on the active roster by 3 p.m. CT, with up to 16 players allowed for the practice squad.
For established veterans and high draft picks, making it past Tuesday's deadline was a formality. But for many others, including several Iowa football rookies, it was a defining moment that determined if they'd done enough to make their respective teams.
Players cut on Tuesday were put on waivers, if a team claimed them then they were automatically added to that team's 53-man roster. If they cleared waivers (midday Wednesday deadline) then they became unrestricted free agents and can sign with any team.
More on NFL roster cuts:NFL roster cut tracker recap: Alex Leatherwood, Marlon Mack among players released by deadline
Six Iowa rookies entered Tuesday's deadline in different scenarios with their teams. Here's how each rookie fared and their outlook for the 2022 NFL season.
Tyler Goodson signs with Green Bay Packers practice squad
When Tyler Goodson scored his first NFL touchdown in the Packers final preseason game, it felt like an exclamation point to what's been an impressive training camp. He received the bulk of the work while competing for the No. 3 running spot, leading the team in rushing yards and finishing tied for second in catches.
However, Goodson didn't make the Packers' 53-man roster and was waived on Tuesday. He cleared waivers and resigned with the team on Wednesday. Packers coach Matt LaFleur announced that Goodson and fellow running back Patrick Taylor were signed to the 16-man unit.
The Packers also have Kylin Hill, their 2021 seventh-round pick who has been sidelined by an ACL injury from last year and will miss at least the first four games of the regular season.
Matt Hankins, Zach VanValkenburg sign practice squad deals
Defensive back Matt Hankins and defensive end Zach VanValkenburg signed practice squad deals with their respective teams on Wednesday. Hankins will remain with the Atlanta Falcons and VanValkenburg is with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Both signed as free agents shortly after the NFL Draft this spring and have steadily improved. Each player saw increased snap counts in the final two preseason games while maintaining third-string positioning on their depth charts. Now they'll have a chance to stay with their rosters and potentially be called up if injuries occur.
Caleb Shudak remains with Tennessee Titans
Kicker Caleb Shudak entered Titans training camp on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list and remained there for the duration of training camp. As a result, Shudak is still with the team and will miss the first four games of the regular season. When he's off the PUP list, the Titans will make a decision whether to keep him on the practice squad or release him.
When healthy, Shudak impressed coach Mike Vrabel with his range, connecting on a 55-yard field goal during off-season workouts. Starter Randy Bullock and Shudak were the only kickers on the Titans roster in camp.
Tyler Linderbaum is back on the field
After a near three-week absence with a foot injury, Ravens first-round pick Tyler Linderbaum made his preseason debut last Saturday against the Washington Commanders. He played limited snaps (9) in a 17-15 win but flashed a few good moments that earned praise from NFL pundits.
It appears that barring a setback Linderbaum will start for the Ravens in the regular-season opener on Sept. 11. He maintained the No. 1 center position even while injured and is expected to have a large role in helping maintain the Ravens' strong rush offense and improve their pass protection.
How close is Dane Belton to playing?
This past week has brought some good news in Dane Belton's recovery from a broken collarbone injury suffered early in training camp. He was a part of the pregame workout group in their final preseason game last weekend and on Tuesday was present at Giants practice and participating in drills.
Belton remains in a non-contact jersey but his progress is an encouraging sign for the possibility that he plays in the season opener on Sept. 11 against the Tennessee Titans. He's penciled in as the Giants' No. 2 free safety but was receiving spot reps with the first team prior to his injury.
Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.