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Packers promote Carl Bradford from practice squad and waive Justin Perillo

With Jake Ryan on the shelf and Jared Cook ready to return, the Packers swapped a tight end for a linebacker on Saturday.

 NFL: Green Bay Packers-Training Camp Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers made a roster move on Saturday of Week 11 to bolster a major hole in the middle of their defense. With inside linebacker Jake Ryan ruled out for Sunday night’s game at Washington, the Packers were down to just two healthy players at that position: rookie Blake Martinez and coverage specialist Joe Thomas.

Enter 2014 draft pick Carl Bradford, who has been promoted from the practice squad as of this afternoon. Bradford was chosen in the fourth round of that year’s draft as the 121st pick overall. He spent his entire rookie year on the 53-man roster, but was inactive for every game. In 2015, Bradford was a member of the Packers’ practice squad for the entire season and has been on that unit for the first ten weeks of this season as well.

We at APC expected this move, but we did not predict the player who was released to make room for Bradford. That player is tight end Justin Perillo, who was the surprise release of the day. Perillo has caught four passes this season for 35 yards. Perillo bounced back and forth between the Packers’ practice squad and active roster over each of his first two years before making the team out of training camp for the first time this fall.

Perillo’s release likely signifies that Jared Cook is ready to return fully on Sunday. This season’s premier free agent signing, Cook has missed each of the Packers’ last six games after suffering an ankle injury during the Packers’ week three win over the Detroit Lions. He was listed as Questionable on Friday’s injury report, but is likely to suit up when the Packers take the field tomorrow night.