The Green Bay Packers announced on Tuesday that they have signed Tipa Galeai from the practice squad to fill the void of Whitney Mercilus, their pass-rusher who was placed on injured reserve due to a biceps injury that occurred against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Mercilus was released by the Houston Texans earlier this season and was picked up by the Packers after multiple injuries left them short on outside linebackers. Mercilus, following the injuries to Za’Darius Smith, Randy Ramsey and Chauncey Rivers, is the fourth outside linebacker to hit IR for Green Bay in 2021.
Galeai was picked up as an athletic, but undersized, undrafted free agent in 2020. He actually saw playing time in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings in last year’s opener, but never played another regular-season game for the team in 2020. For the most part, he has been on the Packers’ practice squad during his professional career, but it’s worth noting that he was on the roster bubble late into the summer for his preseason performance. Recently, Galeai has been named as a protected practice squad player by the team.
The team also signed outside linebacker La’Darius Hamilton, who was released last week from the team’s 53-man roster, and running back Kerrith Whyte, who worked out for the team recently, to the practice squad. Defensive lineman Auzoyah Alufohai was released from the practice squad as a corresponding move, leaving R.J. McIntosh and Abdullah Anderson as the team’s remaining defensive linemen on the practice squad.
Hamilton, who had seen regular-season reps until Mercilus passed him on the depth chart, being lept on the 53-man roster by Galeai is somewhat of a surprise. Hamilton was signed by the team from the Tampa Bay practice squad after Za’Darius Smith was placed on injured reserve and played 43 defensive snaps from Week 5 to Week 7.
Whyte was signed following the injuries to Aaron Jones and Kylin Hill, which leaves just two healthy running backs on the Packers’ 53-man roster. Assume that Whyte’s now fellow Packers practice squad running back Ryquell Armstead will be activated from the practice squad in some way, shape or form for this week’s game against the Vikings.