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Packers elevate 2 players for game vs. Panthers

Signs are pointing toward both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon playing for Green Bay on Sunday for the first time in over a month.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers announced on Saturday that the team has elevated two practice squad players, receiver Bo Melton and safety Benny Sapp III, for their Christmas Eve matchup against the Carolina Panthers. Both moves make sense, considering the team’s injury situation.

Melton is expected to help fill in for Christian Watson (hamstring), who was listed as doubtful to play versus Carolina on the team’s final injury report of the week on Friday. Last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Melton caught one pass for seven yards — the first regular-season reception of his two-year NFL career.

Sapp is going to be added safety depth for the Packers, who are already down starter Darnell Savage (shoulder) this week. Fellow safety Rudy Ford popped up on the injury report with a back issue on Friday, which led to him being listed as questionable for the upcoming game. Should Savage and Ford both miss action, Jonathan Owens and rookie Anthony Johnson Jr. are expected to start. Now that Sapp has been called up, he would probably be the “next man up” in that scenario.

The Packers did not elevate running back Emanuel Wilson, tight end Luke Musgrave or offensive tackle Luke Tenuta, three players who are on the injured reserve but all started their 21-day practice window this week to eventually return to the 53-man roster.

The team also didn’t elect to elevate practice squad running back Kenyan Drake, which might be a sign that the running back unit is finally “healthy.” Drake has been filling in at the position, with Aaron Jones (knee) and AJ Dillon (thumb) dealing with injuries as of lately. Jones returned to the field last week, but Dillon broke his thumb late in the game two weeks ago — leading to him missing the game against the Buccaneers.