GREEN BAY — Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith is practicing again and could return for the playoffs after missing nearly the entire regular season.
Smith hasn’t played since the season opener due to a back issue but he recorded a combined 26 sacks for the Packers from 2019-20. Smith attended practice Wednesday, where Head Coach Matt LaFleur said he is trying to get Smith re-acquainted with playing.
"We just want to reacclimate him into practice and see how that goes and see how it all meshes before we solidify our plan. Luckily, we not only have this week but next week to continue to get him up to speed," LaFleur said in a press release.
The sack Master is back🔥🔥 https://t.co/PC4PaUKy9T— Za'Darius Smith (@zadariussmith) January 12, 2022
Smith isn't the only roster change the team saw Wednesday, though.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst announced guard Lucas Patrick has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and the team has signed guard Ben Braden to the practice squad. Braden has played in nine games this season, and was on Green Bay’s practice squad and active roster for almost all of the season.
The changes come as the team awaits their next game, expected to take place on January 22 or 23 thanks to the Packers owning the NFC’s No. 1 seed and lone first-round playoff bye.