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New Packers LB Wilson Has Shown He Can ‘Compete Against Anybody’

The Green Bay Packers raided the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad to sign established linebacker Eric Wilson, a former standout with the Minnesota Vikings.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers signed veteran linebacker Eric Wilson off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old linebacker brings a bunch of experience. An undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati who signed with the Minnesota Vikings after the 2017 draft, Wilson played in 78 of a possible 81 games from 2017 through 2021. Wilson started 25 games for the Vikings in 2018 through 2020. During that final season with Minnesota, he set career highs with 122 tackles, eight tackles for losses, three interceptions and eight passes defensed.

“I know I am talented and gifted and good enough to be an every-down starter and to play in this league and compete against everybody, and I have fun doing that,” Wilson said in 2020. “I take pride in confidence, working every day to get better.”

In 2021, he played in seven games for the Philadelphia Eagles, logging two starts. The Eagles released him and he was claimed off waivers by the the Houston Texans, for whom he played another seven games.

Of his 280 career tackles, 254 came on defense with 26 more on special teams.

Wilson went unsigned in free agency until joining the Saints in May. He failed to make their 53-man roster and landed on the practice squad. Wilson was in London for the Saints’ game against the Vikings on Sunday. Now, he’ll be headed back.

At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds – the height and weight listed by the Packers – Wilson ran his 40 in 4.53 seconds and had a 39.5-inch vertical leap at Cincinnati’s pro day before the 2017 draft.

While in high school, Wilson got his name tattooed on his left chest. But it wasn’t in just some random font. It was the font of Wilson Sporting Goods, the maker of NFL footballs.

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“I thought it was pretty unique that dang near every football had Wilson on it,” he told “That is one of my passions, so why not put that on and represent? It's on my left chest, along with my football numbers over the top of it.”

The Packers are set with De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker as their starters, but Wilson will provide some veteran depth and special teams skill with Krys Barnes out with an ankle injury.

“I don’t have a ceiling,” he said upon joining the Eagles last year. “I truly believe that I’m getting better each and every day, as I expressed. I continually each and every day work on being my best and improving. Preparing each and every day to truly succeed and to truly thrive. I think this is an amazing environment and an amazing city to do that in.”

Wilson had nine tackles against the Packers in a game in 2019 and forced a fumble against them in a game in 2020.

“He’s gone from a college free agent who didn’t get drafted to a guy we’ve relied on every week,” former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said in 2020. “It’s a tribute to him, because he takes care of his body, he trains all the time, he’s a guy that’s always studying. … He’s earned everything he’s gotten.”

Wilson takes the spot of offensive lineman Caleb Jones, who was placed on the non-football illness list last week.