Don’t let the headline fool you, the Green Bay Packers won’t be expecting rookie outside linebacker Vince Biegel to step in and replace the 7 ½ sacks that former Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers, who departed this off season after not receiving a contract offer from the Packers, has with the Carolina Panthers this season. But with his activation, the Green Bay Packers will expect Vince Biegel to contribute right away, either in the outside linebacker rotation, or on special teams.
Green Bay Packers Expect Vince Biegel to Contribute Right Away
Packers general manager Ted Thompson spent a fourth round pick on Biegel in this past year’s draft. Biegel was expected to be drafted anywhere from the third, fourth, or fifth round after playing as a standout outside linebacker at the University of Wisconsin. There, Biegel excelled in the Badgers 3-4 defense, the same type the Packers run.
However, along with the honors that he earned while playing in Madison, he also brought with him an injury history to his foot. That same foot that he had surgery on this past season at Wisconsin, forced him to undergo a second surgery after being drafted by the Packers this past spring. Because of the surgery, and missing mini and most of training camp, Biegel was put on the PUP list, which forced him to miss the first six weeks of this season. But with the Packers cutting defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, it allowed them to move Biegel to the active roster.
To expect Biegel to jump right in and make an impact on the Packers defense immediately might be asking a lot. However, Biegel should make his presence known on special teams. It wouldn’t be surprising though if Biegel overtakes fellow outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell on the Packers depth chart. Fackrell, a former third round pick out of Utah State, has been the primary back up to starters Nick Perry and Clay Matthews, with Ahmad Brooks battling injuries. Fackrell has been downright awful and ineffective, giving Biegel a chance to overtake him and get immediate playing time.
Packers Make Several Roster Moves
The Jean Francois/Biegel moves weren’t the only moves that the Packers made this week. Offensive tackle Jason Spriggs was activated from the injured reserve this week. Spriggs had been out all season with a hamstring injury. Spriggs will be expected to backup starting tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. Spriggs had a very shaky training camp before injury his hamstring. Therefore, the Packers are hoping that Bakhtiari and Bulaga can stay healthy so they aren’t forced to play Spriggs so quickly after coming off the injured reserve.
With Spriggs leaving the injured reserve, the Packers then placed two players on the injured reserve, long snapper Taybor Pepper and safety Kentrell Brice. Pepper will be replaced as the Packers primary long snapper by Derek Hart, who was with the Packers in training camp this season. Hart will be the third long snapper to snap for the Packers this season. Along with Pepper, the Packers also used Brett Goode, who was lost to an injury for the season earlier this season.
When starting safety Morgan Burnett was lost for several games this season it was Brice who replaced him. If everything goes well, it appears that Burnett will now be replacing Brice. Although Brice is a bigger hitter and faster than Burnett, Burnett’s veteran leadership seems more important at this time with the Packers defense is an awful funk.
The Packers also promoted cornerback Donatello Brown from the practice squad. With Quinten Rollins lost for the season, Brown will provide depth at cornerback, a position in the NFL that you should never be thin at.