The Green Bay Packers received special dispensation to carry an extra player on the active roster over the weekend. On Saturday, the team announced the signing of linebacker James Burgess, who came over from the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad. That signing was reported early last week, but did not become official until Saturday afternoon.
However, with Burgess’ limited time to join the team in time for Sunday’s game in Houston, the Packers were able to place him on the commissioner’s exempt list after acquiring him. That allowed the team to avoid counting him against the 53-man limit. Instead, with two roster spots still open, they added guard Ben Braden and defensive lineman Billy Winn from the practice squad to the 53 instead.
As of Monday, Burgess is now on the 53. With the exemption now up, the Packers announced that they have moved Burgess onto the active 53-man roster, releasing Braden to open up the spot for him. Braden will be subject to waivers tomorrow, but may re-sign with the Packers’ practice squad if he clears.
Burgess’ addition now gives the Packers five inside linebackers on their active roster, in addition to Christian Kirksey on injured reserve. Three of these players rotated through the lineup on Sunday, with Krys Barnes, Ty Summers, and Kamal Martin all seeing significant playing time. The fourth, Oren Burks, has struggled to see the field on defense, but remains a frequent contributor on special teams. Odds are that is where Burgess will contribute early on in his tenure with the Packers.