According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Green Bay Packers will sign safety Rudy Ford. Ford was recently let go by the Jacksonville Jaguars and is a vested veteran who is not subjected to the NFL’s waiver system due to the number of years he’s played in the league.
The 27-year-old safety has played 985 special teams snaps during his career to 548 defensive snaps, with 423 of those career defensive snaps coming in 2021. To put it simply: He’s a special teams ace.
This is what Green Bay sees in Rudy Ford: pic.twitter.com/XeVl1X535o— Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher) August 31, 2022
Specifically, he has done well as a gunner on punt team. Ford, who ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash time coming out of Auburn, should be able to help the team out there, as a vice on punt return and on kickoff team. The Packers’ punt and kick coverage teams struggled throughout the preseason, despite the change to new special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.
With pick 208 in the 2017 NFL Draft, the #Cardinals selected Rudy Ford, SS, Auburn.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 30, 2019
He posted an elite #RAS with poor size, elite speed, at the SS position.#Cardinals pic.twitter.com/mVBTU6oLKU
With the Packers already at a 53-man roster, the news on the corresponding roster move that needs to be made to make room for Ford’s spot on the active roster has yet to break. One would assume that with five safeties already on the roster that one of them is likely to lose their spot with the Ford signing.
Any of the backup safeties could be let go and it wouldn’t be surprising. Dallin Leavitt, who was signed this offseason, has missed most of the preseason with an injury and only recently returned to practice. It’s possible he could go on injured reserve with a designation to return. Rookie seventh-round pick Tariq Carpenter was essentially the team’s seventh safety this summer and was a surprising keep by the Packers at cutdowns. Micah Abernathy, who worked his way onto the team from the USFL, has been on the team for less than a month but won a battle of attrition in the safety room.
The #Packers decision to sign S Rudy Ford, as reported by NFL Network, has nothing to do with the status of S Dallin Leavitt. He is not going on injured reserve, he remains on the 53-man roster. #Packers will have to make a move.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) August 31, 2022
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein has reported that Ford’s signing “has nothing to do with the status of S Dallin Leavitt.”