According to his agent Mike McCartney, Green Bay Packers practice squad receiver Juwann Winfree was activated to the 53-man roster on Tuesday. Winfree had been previously called up for three other games this season: the first matchup against Chicago, the Arizona game and the Minnesota game. In total, he has played 62 regular season snaps on offense this year, with 54 of them coming against the Cardinals when the team was out their top three receivers for the Thursday Night Football matchup.
It’s worth noting that the Packers lost receivers Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) and Malik Taylor (abdomen) going into the second half of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. While head coach Matt LaFleur has not specified the severity of the injuries to those receivers, the elevation of Winfree likely means at least one of them will not play this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens.
Winfree is more of a true wide receiver than a special teamer, as he has only contributed 1 of his 63 regular season snaps to date in 2021 on special teams, a far cry from Taylor, who is somewhat of a special teams ace. Before you ask: Winfree has not returned a punt or kickoff in either his professional or college football career.
Despite already having another wide receiver on the practice squad in Chris Blair, the Packers felt the need to work out another receiver on Monday: Josh Malone. Unlike Winfree, Malone does have some experience returning kicks, registering seven returns over four games for the New York Jets in 2020.
On Wednesday, when LaFleur meets with the media next, we should learn how serious the injuries to St. Brown and Taylor are, shedding light on why exactly this move was made.