According to Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber, the Green Bay Packers have signed running back Patrick Taylor to their 53-man roster ahead of their Monday Night Football matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Taylor has played in 10 games for the Packers this season but had played the last two games as a practice squad elevation. Now that his allotted three elevations off of the practice squad have been exhausted for 2022, Taylor rejoins the active roster.
To make room for Taylor, the Packers subjected receiver Sammy Watkins to waivers. With the return of Romeo Doubs and the breakout of Christian Watson, who split time at the X receiver position with Watkins this year, Green Bay chose to move off the veteran who was playing on a one-year deal. Despite recording 93 receiving yards in a Week 2 win against the Chicago Bears, Watkins only managed to post 13 receptions for 206 yards as a Packer. He never recorded a touchdown and had several miscommunications with quarterback Aaron Rodgers along the way. Over the last two games, Watkins played a combined 11 offensive snaps and hasn’t played a single special teams rep this season.
Taylor is expected to make contributions on special teams against the Rams. In 2022, 96 of his 103 snaps have come in football’s third phase. The third running back position, be it Taylor or the recently-released Kylin Hill, has not been involved much offensively this season for Green Bay.
It’s worth noting the list of players the Packers passed up releasing by choosing to swap Watkins for Taylor. This includes safety Innis Gaines, one of six safeties on the roster. Gaines was promoted from the practice squad in Week 12 after Darnell Savage injured his foot. Despite Savage returning to practice as a full participant this week, Green Bay didn’t shake up their defensive backs room.
Another name is tackle Caleb Jones, who returned to the team recently after contracting mononucleosis earlier in the season. Even with rookie guard Sean Rhyan suspended for PEDs and center Jake Hanson on the injured reserve, Green Bay is still choosing to roster 10 offensive linemen. That translates to a lot of cheap contracts and tackle depth going into 2023.