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Packers Adding Safety to Injury-Depleted Group

The Packers released five players on Tuesday and are signing a safety to bolster a group that had been down four players.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – With injuries plaguing their safety group, the Green Bay Packers are signing De’Vante Cross, according to a source.

Cross, who worked out for the Packers on Tuesday, started 19 games during his final two seasons at Virginia. He had one interception, six passes defensed and 24 tackles during his super-senior season in 2021 and six interceptions for his career. Cross was forced to play out of position at cornerback in 2020 before moving back to safety for his final season.

“I feel so much more comfortable, to be honest with you,” Cross said last August. “When I first moved to defense, it’s one of the positions I started at. It’s what I’m most used to. It’s where I feel comfortable, where I feel like my skill-sets lie.”

Injuries have hit the safety group hard, with starter Darnell Savage and backups Dallin Leavitt, Tariq Carpenter and Innis Gaines sidelined by injuries. Adrian Amos and Vernon Scott have been the No. 1 tandem, while Shawn Davis has been joined by Micah Abernathy. Abernathy signed last week and was thrown right into the fire, with defensive backs coach Jerry Gray helping him get lined up in the right spot initially.

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With the Packers having only four safeties, Cross figures to get instant snaps, too, with matchups against the Saints at practice on Wednesday and the preseason on Friday.

In high school, Cross was Pennsylvania’s 2015 player of the year as a dual-threat quarterback who threw for 2,947 yards, rushed for 1,385 yards and contributed 45 total touchdowns. He played a little here, there and everywhere early in his career at Virginia.

“I mean, the cool thing is he has played, shoot, so many different positions,” safeties coach Shane Hunter said last year. “I remember the Boise State game (in 2017) when we played there, I think he took a snap at quarterback, receiver, DB, returned a punt, and was, like, amazing. That shows you the type of athlete he is, and you know how smart he is to be able to take all that in.”

Cross missed the end of the 2021 season with a knee injury so didn’t work out at pro day. He did measure 6-foot 3/8 and 216 pounds. He was with Washington briefly during the offseason.

The Packers got down to 84 players on Tuesday by officially releasing outside linebacker Randy Ramsey, tight end Dominique Dafney and three rookies: inside linebacker Ellis Brooks, running back B.J. Baylor and offensive lineman George Moore. The signing of Cross pushes the roster to the 85-player limit.