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Packers Add Beef to Defensive Line with Avery

The Green Bay Packers have had only seven healthy defensive linemen for the first six practices of training camp.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers are adding some needed depth to their defensive line with the addition of Josh Avery, according to a source.

Avery (6-3, 320) played at Southeast Missouri State. In two seasons, he recorded 41 total tackles, seven tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks in 23 games. That included 1.5 sacks and six tackles for losses as a senior.

He went through a tryout earlier in the day.

Avery went undrafted last year and was signed by the Seattle Seahawks immediately after the draft. However, with teams forced to cut their roster from 90 players to 80 due to COVID, Avery never lined up for training camp. He spent the year out of the NFL but did play in The Spring League.

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During Avery’s pro day workout before the 2020 draft, he put up 31 reps on the 225-pound bench press and posted an excellent vertical leap of 34.5 inches.

“Football is everything to me,” Avery told the school newspaper after signing with Seattle. “I sacrificed time with my family and friends and having a social life because I put everything I had into football. I spent countless amounts of hours in the gym to be the best player I can.”

Green Bay has only eight defensive linemen on the roster, including only seven who are practicing. Behind veterans Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster and Kingsley Keke are fifth-round pick T.J. Slaton and undrafted free agents Willington Previlon, Jack Heflin and Carlo Kemp. Keke hasn’t practiced due to an ankle injury.

Avery grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and started playing football when he was 5. At the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl all-star game, he noted, “I am a really good swimmer and that shocks others because most people would not expect that from me.”