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The Packers could carry as many as six receivers on the 53-man roster this season. The first three spots are essentially guaranteed to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Boykin.
The remaining potential three could go to rookies Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis. But could Harper land a spot?
Harper didn't practice Tuesday due to what was apparently a tweaked hamstring, according to Rodgers, as told to ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde. (The Packers, as an organization, do not discuss injuries during organized team activities). But he impressed both Rodgers and McCarthy last Tuesday.
Rodgers told Wilde:
I don’t like to make a lot of predictions in helmets and shorts, but there's been a lot of plays made. Harper was making a lot of plays before he tweaked his hamstring. Davante's making some plays. All those guys are improving. I think really spots four through six, potentially, it's pretty wide open.
Harper, who was initially drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in Round 4 of the 2013 NFL draft, was claimed by the Packers off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers in October 2013. He saw some time on the 53-man roster but was used primarily in a special teams role.
A Kansas State alumnus like his teammate Nelson, in 2012, Harper started all 13 games and totaled 58 catches for 857 yards and three touchdowns.
McCarthy has liked what he's seen so far in OTAs. "Chris has really improved," McCarthy said after practice on June 3, per ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky. "I mean, I think you saw the first snap there in the team period, I mean, he runs a great post and Aaron hits him right in stride. I mean, that's the kind of explosiveness that he has."
This is a deep receivers group. It wouldn't be easy for Harper to earn a spot as one of six on the 53-man, but he's certainly climbing the ranks.