According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Green Bay Packers have made a handful of roster moves leading up to their Week 5 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football. The most impactful move is that running back Patrick Taylor, a former Packers practice squadder, has been signed to the 53-man roster — allowing him to play in Las Vegas tonight.
Taylor had previously been called up by the Packers in Weeks 1 through 3, meaning that he had exhausted his practice squad elevations for the season. For Green Bay to use Taylor again, they needed to sign him to their active roster — which they did.
On the season, Taylor has carried the ball nine times for 29 yards and caught three balls for 23 yards. So far, he’s played 49 offensive snaps and 28 special teams snaps, which are good for 26 percent and 35 percent of total snaps on those respective units in 2023.
Taylor is notably a special teams contributor on the kickoff unit and the punt protection unit, two places where injuries have stacked up. On top of that, recent reports claim that preferred starting running back Aaron Jones (hamstring) is unlikely to suit up against the Raiders. That leaves the team with just AJ Dillon, Taylor and undrafted rookie Emmanuel Wilson as options out of the backfield.
Dillon has struggled throughout the 2023 season, leading the Packers to play Taylor in “crunch time” against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints in Week 2 and Week 3. Wilson, who was a preseason star, has only seen action in two games this season and has played just 13 offensive snaps. Wilson has not played a down of special teams.
In a corresponding roster move, the Packers released outside linebacker Justin Hollins in order to make room for the addition of Taylor. Hollins was picked up off of waivers by Green Bay last season and re-signed with the team on a one-year contract this offseason. Hollins had played 84 snaps of defense for Green Bay in 2023, which means that a snap increase for Rashan Gary and/or Lukas Van Ness are probably on the horizon.
Demovsky also reported that cornerback Corey Ballentine, who played the majority of the snaps against the Detroit Lions last week, was elevated from the practice squad. This is Ballentine’s third elevation, meaning that he’s out of practice elevations for the remainder of the season. Ballentine likely won’t be relied on as much on defense this week, as it appears that cornerback Jaire Alexander (back) is going to play against the Raiders. Ballentine replaced rookie seventh-rounder Carrington Valentine as an every-down cornerback once it was clear that the Lions were going to run the ball on offense, according to head coach Matt LaFleur’s comments about the lineup change.
According to the Packers’ press release, Green Bay only used one of their two practice squad call-ups for this game.