The Green Bay Packers announced five different roster moves on Tuesday.
The team placed outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus on injured reserve, signed outside linebacker Tipa Galeai from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, signed outside linebacker La’Darius Hamilton and running back Kerrith Whyte to the practice squad and released defensive lineman Auzoyah Alufohai from the practice squad.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all five moves:
Mercilus to IR
(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
An expected move. Mercilus, who had a sack and 10 pressures in four games with the Packers, tore his biceps and will miss the rest of the 2021 season. He suffered the injury while attempting to sack Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on Sunday. Signed after being released by the Texans last month, the 31-year-old Mercilus proved to be an effective rotational rusher for the Packers. He is a free agent following the 2021 season.
Sign Galeai to roster
(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
The injury to Mercilus will finally give the Packers’ second-year edge rusher his shot on the active roster. An undrafted free agent from Utah State, Galeai spent his first year and a half in Green Bay on the practice squad. He is an undersized outside linebacker at 229 pounds, but his explosive movement skills could make him an asset on obvious passing downs, in coverage and on special teams. Galeai played in one game (nine snaps) as a rookie last season. Outside linebackers coach Mike Smith thinks he can be a disruptive player.
Sign Hamilton to practice squad
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It’s been a wild ride for Hamilton. The Packers originally signed him off the Buccaneers practice squad in mid-September to help replace Za’Darius Smith. He played a handful of snaps over three games as a backup outside linebacker. The Packers released him on Saturday, but he’ll be coming right back to Green Bay to help the depth after both Mercilus and Rashan Gary (elbow) suffered injuries on Sunday. The Packers could elevate him from the practice squad twice to play snaps over the next few weeks.
Sign White to practice squad
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Aaron Jones’ knee injury required the Packers to add depth at running back. Whyte, a seventh-round pick of the Bears in 2019, has played in six career games at the NFL level, and the Packers will be his sixth team. His combination of speed and return ability could make him an elevation candidate while Jones is on the mend over the next few weeks. Whyte joins Ryquell Armstead (signed last week) as the two running backs on the Packers’ practice squad. The team will need a No. 3 running back on the gameday roster, so expect an elevation this week.
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The Packers signed Alufohai to the practice squad on Nov. 2. He was one of three defensive linemen on the practice squad, so the team probably felt comfortable at the position. Depth at outside linebacker and running back was needed, so Alufohai was released.