Pettine on Williams: ‘We’re Thrilled That He’s Here’

Back for his third tour of duty with the Packers, Tramon Williams is the oldest defensive back in the NFL.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Tramon Williams is back with the Green Bay Packers, with the 37-year-old joining the team just in time to potentially play in his fifth NFC Championship Game with the team.

“It’s great to have him back,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said on Thursday afternoon. “Just such a great veteran – a calming veteran presence. 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. Today was the first day that he was in the building so we don’t have a great feel just yet of where he is and looking at his role, but we’re thrilled that he’s here and it certainly gives us some options.”

Williams was signed to the practice squad but could potentially be elevated to the gameday roster on Saturday so he can face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

“We’ll take it through the week and we’ll see where it goes,” coach Matt LaFleur said.

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. He logged 12 snaps in the playoff loss at Buffalo.

At age 37, he’s the oldest defensive back in the league.

If he plays on Sunday, barring some sort of injury disaster, he almost certainly wouldn’t be given a major role. The Packers are set with their defensive back group of Jaire Alexander and Kevin King at corner, Chandon Sullivan in the slot, and Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage as the safeties. Safety Will Redmond has been the sixth defensive back on passing downs. However, Williams would provide depth, with former second-round pick Josh Jackson a healthy inactive for last week’s playoff victory over the Rams.

Williams played so well last season that he received an All-Pro vote. He picked off two passes while being the Packers’ primary slot defender. Among active players, only Richard Sherman (36) has more career interceptions than Williams (34).

He also could be an option on punt returns, where Tavon Austin has more fumbles (one) than 10-yard returns (zero). Williams averaged 6.9 yards on 12 runbacks in 2018, his first time as the primary returner since the 2010 Super Bowl season.