Sports

Keeler, Bodiford cut from NFL rosters

Federal Way High School graduates Brandon Keeler and Shaun Bodiford won’t be taking the field on the opening weekend of the National Football League season. Both players were cut by their respective teams last weekend when NFL teams were forced to cut their training camp rosters to the league maximum of 53 players.

Keeler, an undrafted free agent safety out of Eastern Washington University and a 2002 Federal Way grad, was cut by the Arizona Cardinals and Bodiford, a wide reciever/kick returner, was cut by the Green Bay Packers.

Keeler was a longshot to make the Cardinals’ opening-day roster, but was very impressive in training camp with Arizona. Keeler spent a lot of the summer playing with the team’s second unit defense

“A lot of times with undrafted guys, you can see in the first week or two they are in over their heads,” Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That is not the case with (Keeler).”

Keeler still has a shot at landing on another team’s roster, but the most likely destination for the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder, is Arizona’s practice squad. Teams can place eight players on their practice squad, meaning they are able to practice with the team, but not play in games.

Bodiford’s release was a little different than Keeler’s. The fleet-footed wide receiver’s place on the Packers’ roster was decimated when he suffered a knee injury running back the opening kickoff in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Bodiford, a top candidate to return kickoffs this season, was lost after being upended by Seattle’s C.J. Wallace on the kickoff. Bodiford later was taken by cart back to the team’s Lambeau Field training room.

Incidentally, Bodiford suffered a season-ending broken shin while returning the game-opening kickoff at Minnesota last November.

Bodiford had played six games with the Packers and had been handling punt and kickoff return duties. He was averaging 16.2 yards on five kickoff returns and 4.2 yards on six punts. He also had three tackles on special teams last year.

Bodiford, a 2001 Federal Way grad, said after the Aug. 18 game he will be out four to six weeks after injuring the medial collateral ligament in his knee. Bodiford made the Detroit Lions opening-day roster last season after being an undrafted free agent out of Portland State. He was later released by the Lions and picked up by the Packers.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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