The star of training camp, Jayrone Elliott, likely cemented his bid for a roster spot Thursday night with another standout performance in the Green Bay Packers' final preseason game.
The undrafted rookie outside linebacker out of Toledo picked up his fifth sack of the preseason in a first-quarter series against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Playing left outside linebacker, Elliott stuffed running back Knile Davis after a 2-yard gain on first down. Two plays later, Elliott got past Kansas City's starting right tackle, Donald Stephenson, and forced a holding penalty. That penalty, on third-and-4 from the Chiefs' 16-yard line, wiped out a first-down conversion.
Then, on the next play, Elliott beat Stephenson again on an inside move and sacked Kansas City quarterback Chase Daniel for a 5-yard loss, forcing a punt.
"It felt pretty good to finally get out there against some better competition," Elliott said. "Not saying the (previous) competition wasn't good, but to go against a starting tackle that's obviously a big step in the right direction.
"But I feel like I've got to show up more, not just one play."
Perhaps indicative of Elliott's impending roster status, when he was injured on a third-quarter play, coach Mike McCarthy was among the Packers staff who went out to check on him. Elliott walked off the field under his own power and returned in the third quarter.
"Obviously he made a number of big plays," McCarthy said. "He cramped up there and went back in, and you like to see that. His body of work has been very good."
Elliott finished with three tackles, the 5-yard sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit. He was getting good penetration all night, even being double-teamed on some occasions.
"I feel like I had some positives today, certainly had some negatives in some areas," he said, "but hopefully I get a chance to come back and be able to practice more and showcase my talents."
Now, even with a crowded outside linebacker group, Elliott appears on the verge of making the 53-man roster after making strides each week during the preseason.
"I definitely came a long way thanks to Coach (Winston) Moss and the veteran guys around here," Elliott said, "especially Andy Mulumba, he's stuck with me since Day 1 just helping me get my pass-rush technique down and what to look for out there."