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Packers sign S Innis Gaines

Gaines is expected to contribute on special teams and as a reserve nickelback versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: SEP 10 Packers at Bears Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Two weeks after the trade deadline, the Green Bay Packers finally used the roster spot that was left vacant by the trade of cornerback Rasul Douglas to the Buffalo Bills. On Saturday, prior to their matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay signed safety Innis Gaines from their practice squad to their 53-man roster. Gaines had previously been elevated three times from the practice squad, which means that the team needed him to be on the 53-man roster for him to play regular season games moving forward.

Since the summer, Gaines has mostly played slot cornerback on the defensive side of the ball. Green Bay has multiple question marks in the secondary right now, as safety Rudy Ford (calf) is questionable and cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) is doubtful for tomorrow’s game. It’s uncertain how Gaines fits in with the injuries on the roster or if he’s simply Keisean Nixon’s backup moving forward.

The fact that the Packers didn’t call up a defensive lineman, notably nose tackle Jonathan Ford, bodes well for Kenny Clark playing against the Steelers. Clark is listed as questionable after leaving last week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, leaving Green Bay extremely thin on the defensive interior. If Clark doesn’t play, the Packers will only have four players available in the unit on gameday. If you’re reading the tea leaves here, go ahead and pencil Clark in.