GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers are turning to a different not too long ago launched veteran participant in an effort to assist their banged-up protection. This time it is former Houston Texans edge rusher Whitney Mercilus.
Mercilus formally signed with the Packers on Thursday. Phrases weren’t disclosed and the workforce didn’t need to make a corresponding transfer because it already had an open spot on the 53-man roster.
Mercilus, who was launched by the Texans on Tuesday after spending 10 seasons with that franchise, turned down extra money elsewhere to hitch Inexperienced Bay’s protection, a supply instructed ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
The Kansas City Chiefs had been additionally within the combine for Mercilus, who had assured cash owed to him as a part of his Texans deal, a supply instructed Fowler.
This was the 2012 first-round draft decide’s first yr in Lovie Smith’s protection, which noticed him transfer from outdoors linebacker to defensive finish.
In six video games for Houston this season, Mercilus, 31, had three sacks, 4 tackles for a loss, three quarterback hits and 12 tackles.
His 57 sacks in 10 seasons for the Texans rank second in franchise historical past behind J.J. Watt, who had 101 sacks with Houston.
The Packers had been already with out Professional Bowl outdoors linebacker Za’Darius Smith, who performed 18 snaps within the season opener after which underwent a again surgical procedure that has him out indefinitely. They then misplaced their different high outdoors linebacker, Preston Smith, in Sunday’s win on the Chicago Bears. He performed solely eight snaps earlier than he left with an indirect harm.
The Packers additionally misplaced outdoors linebacker Chauncey Rivers to a season-ending knee harm earlier this month. Preston Smith has by no means missed a sport in his NFL profession, taking part in in 102 straight regular-season video games.
“I feel it is a type of offers that we will give him the week and see the place he finally ends up,” coach Matt LaFleur stated of Preston Smith’s availability for Sunday’s sport towards Washington. “Definitely, we’re hopeful to have him. He is a giant a part of our protection. I do know he is motivated to need to get on the market and he is completed such a terrific job. He is been bodily, he is been disruptive each within the run and the move sport. He is supplied nice management on the market, so actually we might like to have him again. However we’ll see because the week performs out.”
The Packers on Wednesday additionally opened the three-week window during which left sort out David Bakhtiari can apply whereas remaining on the bodily unable to carry out listing. Wednesday’s exercise was his first since he tore the ACL in his left knee on Dec. 31. The Packers aren’t anticipated so as to add Bakhtiari to the 53-man roster this week, and with a Thursday night time sport the next week at Arizona, he won’t make his debut till the Nov. 7 sport at Kansas Metropolis.
The Packers have handled a slew of accidents already this season, especially on defense.
Earlier than Smith and Mercilus got here veteran cornerback Rasul Douglas, following shoulder accidents to Jaire Alexander (who’s on injured reserve) and Kevin King (who returned to apply Wednesday). Douglas performed many of the sport in Sunday’s win over the Bears.
Regardless of all of the accidents, the Packers are 5-1 and on a five-game successful streak heading into Sunday’s sport towards Washington.
It has made quarterback Aaron Rodgers expertise a little bit of déjà vu.
“This season is starting to remind me somewhat little bit of a season over a decade in the past the place we have had a variety of accidents and in the midst of the season added sure items to the combo that ended up taking part in a giant position down the road,” Rodgers stated. “I feel you guys can think about what season I am speaking about, which is an efficient factor.”
Rodgers, in fact, was referring to the 2010 season during which the Packers gained the Tremendous Bowl regardless of ending the season with 15 gamers on injured reserve.