Outside linebacker Preston Smith (oblique) is going to suit up for the Green Bay Packers tonight, while cornerback Kevin King (shoulder/back) will not, according to the team’s inactives release. Beyond the pure inactives list, it should also be noted that the Packers moved up four players to their game-day roster today: tight end Dominique Dafney (injured reserve), receiver Malik Taylor (reserve/COVID-19), receiver Juwann Winfree (practice squad), and offensive lineman Ben Braden (practice squad.) The non-activations of tackle David Bakhtiari (physically unable to perform), receiver Davante Adams (reserve/COVID-19), receiver Allen Lazard (reserve/COVID-19), and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (injured reserve) means that they will not play against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.
Most of these moves were expected, though there was still some optimism that King and Valdes-Scantling, who made the trip to Arizona, would be participating in tonight’s game. The Packers’ other inactives were fairly chalk, with the bulk of the list being made up of players who are typically healthy scratches: safety Vernon Scott, pass-rusher La’Darius Hamilton, and defensive lineman Jack Heflin. The exceptions are tackle Dennis Kelly (back) and linebacker Jaylon Smith (undisclosed.)
If Smith is a healthy scratch, he would have quickly gone from a free agent pick-up who immediately saw playing time as a nickel linebacker “starter” to a linebacker who is sixth on the Packers’ depth chart. Unlike Smith, rookie linebacker Isaiah McDuffie is active today, giving the team their fifth inside linebacker for the game. McDuffie has played in five of the Packers’ seven games this season, with all of his snaps coming on special teams.
The Cardinals are fairly healthy, outside of the loss of defensive lineman J.J. Watt. The only other starter that the team is going to miss, per their inactives list, is Max Garcia (Achilles), their second-string center who had to step in place for Rodney Hudson (injured reserve.)
Full Inactives List:
- #9 Jaylon Smith, ILB
- #20 Kevin King, CB (shoulder/back)
- #36 Vernon Scott, SAF
- #54 La’Darius Hamilton, OLB
- #79 Dennis Kelly, OT
- #90 Jack Heflin, DL