Green Bay Packers searching for defensive line help, strike out on Brian Price
GREEN BAY - Defensive tackle Muhammed Wilkerson suffered a season-ending ankle injury Sunday in Washington, but the Green Bay Packers have yet to make a move to replace him on the 53-man roster.
"It's a big loss and you just don't bump guys up and replace him," Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said of Wilkerson. "But we have a plan. We feel good with where we are moving forward. We'll see how it plays out. There's some guys that have to step up. Dean (Lowry) is certainly going to have to play more of a role. Montravius (Adams) is going to have to play more. I think those guys realize the loss that occurred in the room but there's also that sense of urgency now to step up and fill that void."
Coach Mike McCarthy has insisted all week that the team is content to go into Buffalo with Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Lowry and Adams as its only active defensive linemen, but the team did attempt to sign defensive tackle Brian Price away from the Cleveland practice squad Tuesday.
According to a league source, the Packers wanted to add Price to their 53-man roster but he elected to stay in Cleveland. To keep him, the Browns agreed to pay Price the prorated league minimum while keeping him on the practice squad.
Price came into the NFL in 2016 when the Packers signed him as an undrafted free agent out of University of Texas-San Antonio. He appeared in one game that year and spent the rest on the practice squad. Former Green Bay personnel executives Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith are now part of the front office in Cleveland.
The 6-foot, 1-inch, 303-pound Price spent last year in Dallas and appeared in one game for Oakland this year before signing with Cleveland.
The Packers also worked out veteran Quinton Dial on Tuesday. The 28-year-old defensive tackle played in 13 games for the Packers last season.
As of Thursday, however, it looks like a four-man job for now.
“They’re going to figure something out,” Clark said. “That’s his (defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery’s) job. I mean, I want to be out there on the field every play if I could. However coach Montgomery wants to do it, switch us in and out, that’s what he has to do."