Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Chargers — the Green Bay Packers’ next opponent — picked up outside linebacker Justin Hollins off of the New York Giants’ practice squad. In Week 10, Hollins made his Giants debut, just a few weeks after signing with the team, as a practice squad elevation. Prior to joining the Giants, Hollins was on the Packers’ 53-man roster. He played 212 defensive snaps for Green Bay over the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Is it possible that Hollins will give his new team some intel on the Packers’ defensive structure? Maybe, but it’s worth remembering that Chargers head coach Brandon Staley already has a good handle on what Green Bay does, as he was the defensive coordinator of the 2020 Los Angeles Rams before taking the Chargers job. As a reminder, Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry was the linebackers coach and assistant head coach of that same Rams squad.
Hollins joins a pass-rushing unit that already features some of the best edge defenders in the game in Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. With rookie second-round pick Tuli Tuipulotu in the middle of a breakout season, Hollins is expected to be no better than fourth in the outside linebacker rotation for the Chargers, but they also only carry four outside linebackers — including Hollins — at the moment. That could give him an opportunity to play on Sunday.
In his call-up with the Giants last week, Hollins played all of his snaps on special teams, which is likely where Hollins will be featured the most if he does play against the Packers. During his time in Green Bay, Hollins registered 2.5 sacks, three tackles for losses and four quarterback hits over 10 games.
Hollins should have a good grasp of Staley’s playbook, as he played for him in 2019 in Denver and 2020 in Los Angeles. Back in 2019, Staley was the Broncos’ outside linebackers coach, which made him the coach directly responsible for Hollins’ development as a fifth-round rookie.