Earlier today, the Green Bay Packers waived safety Johnathan Abram in what now looks like a one-for-one swap for former practice squad safety Innis Gaines. The Packers announced on Tuesday that they have promoted Gaines to the active roster, filling one of the two vacancies they have on their 53-man roster.
Gaines, who has been with the team for two training camps, was waived with an injury settlement earlier in 2022. He returned to the Packers’ practice squad in Week 6, where he has been since this promotion. He was also elevated twice this season, once in Week 8 and also last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. In total, he’s played 32 special teams snaps in 2022 on top of his five special teams snaps last season.
This move is somewhat of a surprise, as the Packers already have five safeties on the active roster. Either special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia must be adamant about needing this many safety bodies on gameday for his unit or Darnell Savage’s injury is more concerning than previously believed. Savage left Sunday Night Football with a foot injury after a single defensive snap and never returned to action. As of yet, there has been no update on his status.
In all likelihood, Green Bay’s remaining roster opening will be used to activate outside linebacker Tipa Galeai (hamstring) tomorrow. Wednesday marks the end of Galeai’s three-week window to practice with the team without being a member of the 53-man roster after he was designated to return from the injured reserve.
It’s worth monitoring the situations with tackle Caleb Jones and practice squad running back Patrick Taylor, too. Jones has two weeks until his practice window closes after he was designated to return from the non-football illness list following a battle with mono. Taylor only has one allotted elevation from the practice squad remaining this season. Currently, the Packers don’t keep a third running back on their active roster.
Gaines’ promotion off of the practice squad left them with an opening, which the Packers have since filled with tight end Nick Guggemos. Guggemos originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021 following a college career at St. Thomas (MN.) He later signed with the Washington Football Team for training camp, the Cleveland Browns practice squad and received a workout with the San Francisco 49ers.
The 6’5” former receiver and collegiate track athlete didn’t play football his senior year and only recorded a single reception at the college level. At his pro day, though, he ran a reported 4.49-second 40-yard dash and a vertical of 38.5”.
Guggemos is the team’s only practice squad tight end and gives Green Bay a body to compete with Tyler Davis. Davis, notably, ran the wrong route last week which led to an Aaron Rodgers interception against the Eagles.
The Packers worked out QB James Morgan, the Ashwaubenon HS alum who was a fourth-round pick of the Jets in 2020— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) November 29, 2022
They also worked out five tight ends:
Austin Allen (Nebraska), Nick Guggemos (St. Thomas), Michael Jacobson (Iowa St.) Briley Moore (Kansas St.), Mark Vital (Baylor).
The Packers worked out five other players on Tuesday. Beyond Gueggemos, Green Bay brought in four other tight ends.