According to Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated, the Green Bay Packers have elevated outside linebacker Keshawn Banks from the team’s practice squad to the gameday roster against the San Francisco 49ers. Banks, a rookie undrafted free agent, has yet to play in an NFL regular season game — meaning that this will be his professional debut.
The move isn’t surprising, considering the fact that outside linebacker Kingsley Enagbare was believed to have torn his ACL versus the Dallas Cowboys last week. Enagbare had played 41 percent of the team’s total defensive snaps during the 2023 regular season, which means that the pass-rushing unit will have to adjust without him.
The expectation is that rookie first-round pick Lukas Van Ness will have to play significantly more snaps as the next man up, but some combination of rookie undrafted free agent Brenton Cox Jr. and Banks will have to backfill snaps as reserves. While Cox has been a member of the 53-man roster for the entire season, he’s only actually played four defensive snaps this season. To say the least, the duo of Cox and Banks are relative unknowns.
In the preseason, Banks recorded five tackles and one tackle for loss while Cox recorded three tackles and one tackle for loss. That, so far, is the extent of their production in their Packers careers.
It’s worth noting here that the team did not call up Arron Mosby, another outside linebacker who, like Banks, was on Green Bay’s practice squad. Mosby is more of a special teamer who plays a hybrid linebacker position than really being a true outside linebacker. Maybe that means that Isaiah McDuffie (neck), who contributes to both special teams and defense, is going to be active in this game. He was listed as questionable versus the 49ers on the team’s final injury report of the week on Thursday.
There’s still time for the team to make more transactions before their gameday roster is finalized, but the fact that we haven’t heard anything on the David Long Jr. front probably means that cornerback Jaire Alexander (ankle) is going to suit up, too. Last week, when Alexander was a true game-time decision, the Packers called up Long from the practice squad as an emergency option. Alexander was also listed as questionable on Thursday and did not participate in any practices during the week.