The Green Bay Packers elevated a pair of players from their practice squad on Saturday in advance of their week two matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, and the two names should come as no surprise. For the second straight week, defensive back Innis Gaines and running back Patrick Taylor will be up on the gameday roster and should play on Sunday afternoon.
It is tempting to try to use Taylor’s elevation as a sign about whether or not Aaron Jones will play for the Packers on Sunday, but instead, there probably is not a cause and effect here. Taylor was elevated a week ago when Jones came in fully healthy, as he is a key player for the Packers on special teams. The Packers will likely use him in that role again regardless of Jones’ status, but if he cannot go, then that would result in Emanuel Wilson making his season debut rather than being on the inactive list.
The more intriguing question is whether Taylor or Wilson would serve as the Packers’ RB2 if Jones is indeed unable to suit up amid his hamstring injury. Last week, Taylor did log 5 carries late in the game, totaling 22 yards on the ground as he helped fill in for Jones after his injury and ran out the clock in the final minutes.
The Packers also elevated Gaines for the second straight week, a sign that he will play a key role on special teams once again as well. Last week, Gaines served as one of the Packers’ primary punt gunners, and he logged a whopping 19 snaps on teams as well as five additional snaps in the slot on defense. Look for him to reprise these roles once again in Atlanta this Sunday.
It is notable that each of these players are receiving his second elevation in as many weeks. The NFL’s practice squad rules allow a team to elevate a player three times, after which the team must sign him to the 53-man roster in order to make him active on gamedays. Gaines and Taylor will each have just one more allotted elevation after this week’s game.
Stay tuned on Sunday morning to see whether Jones will play in the game and to track the rest of the Packers’ inactives. As an added bonus, the Packers removed linebacker Quay Walker from the injury report on Saturday, indicating that he has passed the NFL’s concussion protocol and will play in Sunday’s game.