According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Green Bay Packers believe that outside linebacker Kingsley Enagbare tore his ACL against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Enagbare has been a key contributor in the pass-rushing rotation for the Packers over the last two seasons.
Enagbare left the action in the Wild Card round during the fourth quarter of play. After the game, in the post-game presser, head coach Matt LaFleur said that it didn’t “look good” for Enagbare’s outlook moving forward. Per Lauren Helmbrecht of WFRV Sports, Enagbare was seen in the locker room after the game with tears in his eyes as he stood on crutches.
During the regular season, Enagbare played 41 percent of the team’s overall defensive snaps, as he contributed off of the bench and also early on in the year when Rashan Gary was on a pitch count following his own ACL rehab. Now that Enagbare is likely out of the picture for the remainder of the postseason, the Packers will need to lean on rookie first-round pick Lukas Van Ness — who has played 24 percent of the defensive snaps this year — to give starters Preston Smith and Gary breathers.
Aside from Gary, Smith and Van Ness, the only remaining healthy outside linebacker on the 53-man roster is undrafted rookie Brenton Cox Jr., who has played a total of four defensive snaps in 2023 and was a healthy scratch against the Cowboys. Don’t be surprised if the Packers make a move at the position this week, either via a free agent or a practice squad call-up.
Edge rusher positions have one of the easiest learning curves to contribute to a team in situations like this. For example, the Miami Dolphins have dealt with several injuries on the edge recently and signed Justin Houston on January 9th. By January 13th, Houston gave Miami 22 defensive snaps in a playoff game.
Possible internal options for the Packers, if they feel the need to bring up a fifth outside linebacker to limit snaps for Van Ness and Cox include three practice squad players: Kenneth Odumegwu, Keshawn Banks and Arron Mosby. None have seen playing time for Green Bay yet. Odumegwu is a soccer-turned-basketball-turned-football athlete by way of Nigeria, a product of the league’s international player pathways program. Banks is a rookie undrafted free agent. Mosby is a hybrid inside linebacker/outside linebacker who was a special teams contributor for a while with the Carolina Panthers. All three players have been on the Packers’ practice squad since before the start of the regular season.