On Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers announced that quarterback Kurt Benkert has been elevated to the active roster as a Covid-19 replacement. Benkert, who was added to the roster in the summer as a street free agent, was elevated because backup quarterback Jordan Love tested positive for Covid and was placed on the league’s reserve/Covid-19 list yesterday. This mechanism allows the Packers to bring Benkert up from the practice squad without having to release a player off of their 53-man roster.
This was expected, as we wrote about yesterday in the report about Love’s positive test. What wasn’t expected, though, was that the team would sign quarterback Danny Etling to the practice squad, rather than Blake Bortles, who has been on the roster multiple times this season already and has a history with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Etling is on his sixth NFL team since 2018, not including a stint with the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions. Originally, Etling began his career at Purdue before transferring to LSU, leading to him being selected in the seventh round by the New England Patriots. At one point, Etling’s quarterbacking career seemed to be over as the Patriots attempted to convert him to receiver before eventually releasing him, leading to his tour around the globe as a practice quarterback.
At this point of his career, Etling is likely best known for his 86-yard rushing touchdown in a preseason game with the Patriots.
It’s worth noting that Jordan Love can still play this week, should he pass two Covid tests 24 hours apart with no symptoms.