Gaines missed several weeks during training camp but, when on the field, was a backup slot option behind Keisean Nixon and has been a special teams contributor dating back to last season. With the Packers only rostering four cornerbacks on the 53-man roster, Gaines can provide depth at that position group, having seen regular-season snaps in that role during the final few games in 2022. He is also likely to be utilized on special teams, given his previous experience playing on a variety of units.
The other player elevated was running back Patrick Taylor. If there was a surprise on the Packers’ initial 53-man roster, it was that they left Taylor off, who had been a core special teams player for much of last season and this summer, playing the second-most starting snaps of anyone on the team throughout the preseason. However, Emanuel Wilson was for sure the more impressive ball carrier, and as both LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst pointed out, Wilson had improved enough on special teams to give them the confidence that he could continue growing in that phase.
With that said, the fact that the Packers are elevating Taylor tells me that Wilson will be inactive and Taylor will handle special teams responsibilities. It’s also possible that with both Gaines and Taylor being called up, recently signed safety Zayne Anderson, who joined the team just over a week ago, will be inactive as well. Anderson was brought to Green Bay to be a special teams contributor, but when asked about his availability for Week 1, Rich Bisaccia was non-commital, saying the team will have to see how things work out with the gameday roster this week.
Some good news is that no receivers were elevated, which is hopefully a good sign for Romeo Doubs’ availability. Doubs is currently questionable with a hamstring injury.
Each player on the practice squad can be elevated to the gameday roster up to three times over the course of the season. After that third time, they have to either be signed to the 53-man roster, which would mean a corresponding cut would follow, or released, at which point the player could end up on a new team. The Packers are now able to elevate Gaines and Taylor two more times before having to make these decisions.