The Green Bay Packers announced their inactives list prior to their Week 9 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. Here is what you need to know and the potential impact on Sunday’s game.
Green Bay continues to get relatively more healthy each week, with only Rudy Ford and Quay Walker listed as questionable on the final injury report. However, neither practiced on Friday and that often is not a good sign for Sundays. Both will be out.
WR Samori Toure
OT Caleb Jones
OLB Brenton Cox
S Rudy Ford
LB Quay Walker
With Ford inactive, presumably, it will be rookie seventh rounder Anthony Johnson getting the start next to Jonathan Owens. Johnson was inactive for the Packers first five games of the season and the last two games he’s primarily been a core special teams player, seeing just eight total defensive snaps, often when the Packers are in dime.
Not only is Johnson making the leap from college to the NFL, but this is also just his second season at the safety position, after spending his first four years at Iowa State at cornerback.
"“There is a few things, I won’t get into specifics, that I’m still kind of learning,” Johnson said on Friday. “There’s even things like, I told my old DB coach, Coach Broomfield, stuff that he taught me last year, I’m just now getting like ‘Oh that’s what he meant,’ and going to RD (Ryan Downard), and I’m like ‘Oh okay,’ and it’s clicking. It’s fun, that’s what makes it fun about the transition.”"
For more from Johnson and a closer look at his potential role versus the Rams, you can click here.
Without Walker, it will likely be Isaiah McDuffie starting next to De’Vondre Campbell. During Campbell’s absence earlier in the season, McDuffie started in his place. We also saw Eric Wilson take a few snaps as well during obvious running downs.
Both the Packers’ safeties and linebackers are going to have a tough task today against the Rams. Even without Matthew Stafford today, the Rams have three receivers that can stress the Green Bay defenders. Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp are often targeted on short to intermediate routes over the middle of the field where they are able to create separation and get the ball in space, creating yards after the catch opportunities. Tutu Atwell ranks sixth among all receivers in receptions of 20-plus yards while Tyler Higbee has been a reliable target this season as well.
Also of note is that Toure is inactive instead of Malik Heath, who has been one of the inactives in recent weeks. With the receiver room struggling right now, the Packers are making a slight change. With that said, Heath’s role will likely be relatively small as the fifth option. For some context, Toure has played just 14 total snaps over the last three games.
Heath made the Packers’ 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie after an impressive summer, where he continued to make plays in the passing game and proved to be a very willing and capable blocker—an important aspect of playing receiver in the Matt LaFleur offense.
The remaining inactives for the Packers include Brenton Cox, and Caleb Jones. As long as Green Bay remains somewhat healthy, I would anticipate these two being more inactivate than not. Cox is the the fifth-man in a Packers edge rusher rotation that utilizes just four predominantly, while Jones is the current fourth offensive tackle option at the moment, and is clearly still in a developmental role as a 2022 undrafted rookie.