According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Green Bay Packers have claimed outside linebacker Justin Hollins via the Los Angeles Rams. Hollins was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2019 but was waived during final cuts of his sophomore season in the league. In his professional career, Hollins has played in 49 games and made seven starts while recording 97 tackles, six tackles for loss and seven sacks.
The Rams, where Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry spent his last stop prior to Green Bay, run a fairly similar defensive system to what Hollins is going to be asked to do with the Packers. For reference, Hollins had played 308 defensive snaps and 28 special teams snaps for Los Angeles this season.
As of yet, there have not been any corresponding roster moves made by Green Bay, who practiced with a full 53-man roster on Wednesday. It’s also worth noting that Tipa Galeai, who is on the injured reserve, was designated to return earlier this month and is expected to be elevated to the active roster within the next week. The addition of both Hollins and Galeai would bring the Packers’ outside linebacker room to five players.
Green Bay has been down a body at the position since starter Rashan Gary went down with an ACL tear in Week 9. The short-term answer by the team was to elevate La’Darius Hamilton to the gameday roster over the last two weeks, but now Hamilton’s three elevations for 2022 have been exhausted. This means that if the team wanted to use him as their fourth rusher against the Philadelphia Eagles, they would have had to bring him up to the 53-man roster. Obviously, the Packers must have seen something in Hollins to go in a different direction.
With pick 156 in the 2019 NFL Draft, the #Broncos select Justin Hollins, LB, Oregon.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 27, 2019
Justin Hollins posted a Elite #RAS with Elite size, Great speed, Great explosiveness, Okay agility at the LB position. pic.twitter.com/pyX4OBJTza
Hollins might have a chance to play this week, despite being added mid-week. Line of scrimmage defenders are some of the quickest positions to see the field following signings or trades. If Hollins and/or Galeai aren’t ready to go in Week 12, the team will likely have to elevate Tim Ward, who was signed in Week 10 to the practice squad, to play as the Packers’ fourth pass-rusher behind Preston Smith, Kingsley Enagbare and Jonathan Garvin.
The Packers have waived RB Patrick Taylor to make room for LB Justin Hollins.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 23, 2022
The corresponding roster move made to clear a roster spot for the signing of Hollins was the Packers waiving running back Patrick Taylor. Taylor started the season on the practice squad, where he was elevated to the gameday roster in Week 2 before being signed to the 53-man roster in Week 3.
Taylor stayed on the active roster until fellow running back Kylin Hill was activated off of the physically unable to perform list, at which point Green Bay again placed Taylor on the practice squad. When Hill was waived last week, Taylor was promoted back up to the 53-man roster. Taylor can be elevated to the gameday roster off of the Packers’ practice squad twice more in 2022, if he passes through waivers and reverts back to the practice squad tomorrow.