The Green Bay Packers have an open roster spot no more. After going about a week with 52 men on the active roster due to Mike Pennel’s suspension, the Packers have reportedly made a move to bolster the linebackers.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports this evening that the Packers are signing linebacker Jordan Tripp to the active roster. Tripp was earlier reported to be in Green Bay for a workout along with two other players: linebacker Frank Beltre and defensive tackle David Moala.
Tripp, who played college football at Montana, is in his third NFL season and has bounced around from team to team in his brief career. He was most recently with the Seattle Seahawks, who signed him to the practice squad after training camp and then added him to the active roster in October. Tripp has played in seven games this year for Seattle, and he was the team’s starter at strong-side linebacker against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers three weeks ago. However, he was waived with an injury designation on Friday due to a thigh injury.
He began his NFL career as a fifth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2014, and he played 13 games as a rookie. Tripp then failed to make the team out of training camp in 2015 but was signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad before being signed to their active roster. They then released him at final cuts this September, after which he landed in Seattle.
Tripp possesses excellent athleticism for an inside linebacker, which should come as little surprise as both the Seahawks and Packers value elite athletic traits. His 2014 Combine performance was exemplary, as he ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash, posted a 37.5” vertical, and pulled off times of 3.96 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.89 seconds in the 3-cone drill. He did all that while standing 6’ 2-3/4” and weighing in at 234 pounds.
This instantly makes him one of the Packers’ best athletes at the inside linebacker position, the position he will play in Green Bay. He has played primarily in 4-3 systems in the past, but has played all three linebacker positions in that alignment, making his transition to the inside in a 3-4 a bit easier.
Adding an inside linebacker is a logical move at present, as the team has been forced to play strong safety Morgan Burnett at the position in recent weeks. Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan have both missed significant time with injuries, while Clay Matthews continues to be limited with his shoulder injury and played exclusively at left outside linebacker last Sunday in the Packers’ win over Seattle.