The Green Bay Packers announced on Tuesday that the team has signed linebacker Christian Young to the practice squad. At the moment, the Packers haven’t announced a corresponding roster move, which might mean that inside linebacker Kristian Welch — who was promoted from the practice squad last week — is going to stick on the 53-man roster.
Young was one of five players, including former 1,000-yard rusher James Robinson, who was brought in for workouts on Monday. Along with Young, Green Bay also got a look at another off-ball linebacker — Olakunle Fatukasi — this week.
The fact that the Packers announced Young as a linebacker is notable because he’s considered a hybrid safety-linebacker type of player. During his time at the University of Arizona, Young played safety and also the team’s “viper” linebacker spot, which has been self-described by Arizona as a safety-linebacker hybrid. According to Pro Football Focus, Young played 824 box snaps, 648 deep safety snaps and 383 slot snaps during his college career.
Athletically, former Arizona safety and #Seahawks undrafted signee Christian Young likely isn't fluid enough to play away from the box at the next level.— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) June 13, 2023
But he's 221 pounds - adding another 10 pounds of muscle and working him full-time as a linebacker may be best path for him. pic.twitter.com/I93BscKEck
The Packers are currently in an odd spot at the linebacker position. Starter De’Vondre Campbell (ankle) remains injured, which forced Kristian Welch — an outside practice squad signing — to be promoted to the gameday roster to play special teams snaps last week. Against the Detroit Lions, Welch played 20 total snaps in his Packers debut.
That promotion of Welch left the practice squad without an inside linebacker, though, outside linebacker Arron Mosby has dabbled at the position throughout the years. At the very least, the Packers are going to need to clear a 53-man roster spot in the near future, as cornerback Eric Stokes returned to practice on Tuesday — opening a 21-day window in which the team must decide to activate him or shut him down for the season.