The Green Bay Packers made a pair of moves that shifted their defensive backs unit on Monday. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Packers were awarded cornerback Kyu Kelly off of waivers. In a corresponding roster move, Green Bay also announced the release of safety Innis Gaines, who was signed off of the practice squad prior to last week’s game.
Kelly is the son of former NFL cornerback Brian Kelly, who spent more than a decade in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions. The younger Kelly was originally drafted in the fifth round of April’s draft by the Baltimore Ravens, who let go of him at the cutdown deadline in late August. From here, Kelly was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks, where he played five games during this regular season. In total, he’s played 38 special teams snaps in the 2023 campaign.
Kyu Blu Kelly is a CB prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 8.75 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 277 out of 2212 CB from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/5JC0OVmF7E pic.twitter.com/58N7rBPgsw— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 14, 2023
The addition of a cornerback to this 53-man roster is interesting. Following the trade of Rasul Douglas to the Buffalo Bills, the Packers’ preferred starting cornerbacks moving forward are Jaire Alexander, who missed the last game with a shoulder injury, and Eric Stokes, who is on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Beyond those two, the cornerback depth on the team consists of rookie Carrington Valentine, practice squad call-up Corey Ballentine and Robert Rochell, who was poached off of the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad a few weeks ago.
The question now is just how banged up is Alexander that the team felt like they needed to add a fifth outside cornerback to the active roster with Stokes able to come off of the IR after Week 12?