One of the new rules that the NFL implemented in 2020 is the expansion of active rosters to 55 players. The day before a game, teams may elevate two practice squad players to active status, making them eligible for the gameday roster. That gameday active group is also expanded, going from 46 to 48 players this season (provided that at least eight of the 48 are offensive linemen).
With their week one matchup kicking off tomorrow, the Green Bay Packers have made their first practice squad elevations official: linebacker Tipa Galeai and tight end John Lovett will have an opportunity to be active on Sunday depending on the team’s needs.
Galeai, a pass-rushing defensive end in college, moved to linebacker with the Packers. His frame (6-foot-5 and 229 pounds) would suggest that he is too light to reliably play on the outside, however. He will likely be a candidate to pitch in on special teams for the time being.
Lovett, a second-year player out of Princeton, joins a group of versatile tight ends on the Packers’ active roster. the former college quarterback-turned-fullback-turned-tight end is also a special teams option, as well as an option as an H-back.
In addition to these elevations, the Packers filled the open 53rd slot on the active roster with another promotion off the practice squad. That last permanent active spot goes to linebacker Krys Barnes, an undrafted rookie out of UCLA. Barnes, a high school teammate of first-round draft pick Jordan Love, gives the Packers four inside linebackers on the 53, providing valuable insurance at the position with Kamal Martin on injured reserve, Oren Burks coming of an injury, and Raven Greene questionable for Sunday’s game. Although the Packers did not keep an undrafted rookie on the initial 53, this move does still ensure that the team will have one on the 53 by the time of their first game for at least the 16th consecutive season.
Tune in on Sunday about 90 minutes before game time to see which 48 players will be active for the opening game against the Minnesota Vikings.