The Packers parted ways with one of their opening-week defensive starters from 2012, placing linebacker D.J. Smith on waivers Wednesday. According to the league’s official transactions, the 24-year-old Smith was waived with a “failed physical” designation.
Smith started the first six games of 2012 at middle linebacker for the Packers, recording 39 tackles. However, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Packers’ Oct. 14 win at Houston, an injury that ended his campaign. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported in March that Smith’s availability for the start of training camp was in question, with even his readiness for Week One not a sure thing.
Smith was a sixth-round pick of Green Bay in the 2011 draft. As a rookie, he appeared in all 16 games for the Packers, starting three times and notching 43 tackles.
A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones and Desmond Bishop are among the Packers’ options at inside linebacker entering 2013.