The Green Bay Packers set their initial practice squad one day after final cuts were made and the players cleared waivers.
Each NFL team can keep up to 16 players on the practice squad and those players can be elevated to the team’s active roster three times before they must be placed on the 53-man roster permanently if they are to appear in another game.
Here is a look at the players the Packers signed to the practice squad and what role they are likely to play this season and why the team added them to the practice squad.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number One: QB Alex McGough
The Packers signed Alex McGough to the practice squad. He will serve as the team’s third quarterback behind Jordan Love and Sean Clifford.
McGough won the USFL MVP award last spring. He saw limited action during the preseason.
McGough would have played part of the fourth quarter against the Patriots, but that game was postponed with more than 10 minutes left on the clock after an injury. His long pass to Jadakis Bonds against the Seahawks helped solidify his spot on the practice squad.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number Two: RB Patrick Taylor
Patrick Taylor started last season on the practice squad but ended up playing in 14 games. Taylor may not be outstanding in any area of the game but he’s good at many of them. His ability to pass block and pick up blitzes, catch passes out of the backfield and contribute on special teams makes him valuable to the team.
With Emanuel Wilson on the active roster, Taylor may not see as much game action this season. Still, don’t be surprised if he’s elevated for several games in 2023.
Player Number Three: FB Henry Pearson
The undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State can also contribute on special teams.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number Four: WR Grant DuBose
Grant DuBose was one of two 2023 draft picks who did not make the 53-man roster. The Packers final pick in this year’s draft struggled with injuries in preseason that cost him reps in practice and in preseason games.
The 6’3”, 200-pound Charlotte alum hopes to prove himself on the practice squad. The Packers depth at wide receiver may make it tough for him to see much game action barring injuries.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number Five: WR Bo Melton
The Packers signed Bo Melton last December after he spent most of the 2022 season on the Seahawks practice squad.
The former Rutgers star made some good plays this preseason including a big catch on Family Night. The Packers are deep at receiver, but the speedy Melton still landed on the practice squad to keep his NFL dream alive.
Player Number Six: TE Austin Allen
Austin Allen stands 6’8” and weighs 253 pounds. The former Nebraska star didn’t make the 53-man roster but showed enough potential to earn a spot on the practice squad.
The Packers claimed tight end Ben Sims off waivers on Wednesday so Allen will be behind Sims on the depth chart.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number Seven: OL Kadeem Telfort
Kadeem Telfort is a big man at 6’7” and 322 pounds. Telfort plays offensive tackle which is a premium position but also a spot where the Pack has a lot of depth.
The Packers signed Telfort as an undrafted free agent in May. He showed some promise in the preseason and in camp which helped him earn a spot on the practice squad.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number Eight: OL James Empey
James Empey gives the Packers some more depth along the interior offensive line. That is a position with a lot more questions than tackle. Empey can play center or guard.
Although he’s never appeared in a regular season NFL game, the former BYU star spent time with the Cowboys, Dolphins and Titans before the Packers signed him on July 31. His chances of sticking on the practice squad increased after Jake Hanson was injured and then released.
Player Number Nine: DL Chris Slayton
Chris Slayton spent last season on the Packers practice squad and earned a spot on this year’s unit as well. Slayton has yet to appear in a regular season game but has spent time on the Falcons, 49ers, Giants and Steelers practice squads.
The former Syracuse star is now 27. He continues to play well enough in preseason to earn a spot on the practice squad but can’t quite make an active roster.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number 10: Edge Keshawn Banks
Keshawn Banks played well in the preseason, but the Packers have six edge rushers on the active roster which prevented him from earning a roster spot.
The former San Diego State star signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in May.
Banks showed he can create pressure on opposing quarterbacks and is hoping to get a chance to play in a regular season at some point this year.
Player Number 11: Edge Arron Mosby
Arron Mosby played three games for the Carolina Panthers last season after being elevated from the practice squad. He made one tackle for the Panthers.
The former Fresno State star signed with the Packers in early August. He will add depth on the edge, a position the Packers prioritize but have a lot of depth at.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number 12: Edge Kenneth Odumegwu
Kenneth Odumegwu joined the Packers this offseason as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.
He was assigned to the practice squad and the team has an exemption for him as part of the program. Odumegwu has a lot to learn but has worked hard and made a positive impression in training camp.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number 13: CB Kiondre Thomas
Kiondre Thomas spent the 2022 season on the Packers practice squad. He played in four games for the Chargers in 2021 and made one special teams tackle.
The Packers only retained four cornerbacks on the active roster which means there may be chances for Thomas and the other corners on the practice squad to be elevated early in the season before Eric Stokes returns.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number 14: DB Innis Gaines
Many observers were surprised when the Packers released Innis Gaines earlier this week. Gaines can play safety or cover the slot receiver.
Gaines played eight games for the Packers over the past two seasons and started one.
The former TCU star’s versatility and ability to contribute on special teams could earn him some elevations to the active roster this season.
Player Number 15: CB Corey Ballentine
Corey Ballentine has the most experience of any player currently on the Packers practice squad. The Washburn alum has played 40 games over five NFL seasons for the Giants, Jets, Lions, and Packers.
Last year, Ballentine started the year on the Packers practice squad but was signed to the active roster and played eight games. He forced one fumble and was credited with five total tackles.
His special teams prowess and the Packers lack of depth at corner could earn Ballentine some early seasons elevations to the active roster.
Packers Practice Squad Player Number 16: S Benny Sapp
Benny Sapp signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent this May. Sapp’s father, Benny Sapp II, played eight seasons in the NFL from 2004-2011.
The Iowa State alum came up with the game-clinching interception against Seattle in the final preseason game.
The Packers have a lot of questions at safety which may give Sapp a chance at some point this season. The signing of Zayne Anderson on Wednesday to the active roster knocks Sapp down one more spot on the team’s depth chart.
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