GREEN BAY, Wis. – A couple weeks, Jared Veldheer started at left tackle for the Indianapolis Colts in a playoff game. When the Colts lost, he reverted back to the practice squad, where the Green Bay Packers brought him back to provide offensive line depth.
That put Veldheer in position to do what nobody had done in NFL history: play for two different teams in the same postseason. Alas, Veldheer tested positive for COVID-19, didn’t play last week against the Rams and won’t play in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against Tampa Bay.
Veteran defensive back Tramon Williams will play on Sunday and will make history in the process.
Williams played a dozen snaps last week for the Baltimore Ravens in their playoff loss at the Buffalo Bills. With the Ravens’ season complete, they released Williams. Green Bay wasted no time bringing in Williams. He signed to the practice squad on Thursday, practiced on Thursday and Friday, and was elevated to the gameday roster on Saturday. That means Williams will do what Veldheer was expected to do – play for two different teams in the same postseason.
Williams, who played 159 games and started 122 times for the Packers from 2007 through 2014 and 2018 through 2019, played in six late-season games for Baltimore. He broke up one pass during the regular season, when he allowed 12-of-16 passing for 106 yards and one pass breakup, according to Pro Football Focus.
“Just such a great veteran – a calming veteran presence,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said on Thursday. “I think it’s so good for our guys, especially in the DB room. He proved this year that he can still do it. I think it was a great move to bring him here.”
At age 37, he’s the oldest defensive back in the league. But he’s in tip-top shape, knows Pettine’s defense and could contribute on special teams. With Kevin King showing up on Friday’s injury report (back) and listed as questionable, and with no faith in former second-round pick Josh Jackson, who has been inactive the past two games, Williams could find himself on the field with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
“It’s special. He’s one of those teammates you just love playing with over the years,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said as part of the accompanying video. “He’s such a professional. The way he takes care of himself, he looks amazing. He looks like he could go out and play 70 plays for us. I’m not sure if he’s going to or not, I hope he does, because he’s still so talented. But he’s one of those special guys, special personalities.”
Also the team elevated defensive lineman Brian Price and cornerback KeiVarae Russell (from the practice squad to the active roster for gameday, re-signed punter Ryan Winslow to the practice squad and released running back Dexter Williams from the practice squad.