The Green Bay Packers are signing rookie offensive lineman Caleb Jones from their practice squad to the 53-man roster.
The transaction was announced Tuesday by General Manager Brian Gutekunst.
The move comes as the Packers contend with multiple injuries on their offensive line. Moreover, there were several significant tackle injuries across the league in week one, which could have led to Jones being signed by another team if the Packers didn’t move him up quickly.
Undrafted out of IU, a slimmed-down Jones made a strong impression at Green Bay’s training camp. The club released him to get down to 53 players, but then resigned him to the practice squad.
If he sees the field for Green Bay, Jones will immediately break a record. At nearly 6-foot-9, he would become the tallest player to ever play for the Packers. He has already earned the respect of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“I thought Caleb had a great camp and deserved to be on the 53,” Rodgers said. “Lucky to get him back on the p-squad. Looks like he has a bright future in this league. You can’t teach that kind of size. But, take the 6-9, 340 out of the way, the way that he worked from spring to fall camp and then throughout fall camp, he has what it takes to be a player in this league. I told him that a couple weeks ago.”
Jones’ size was always a topic of conversation since his arrival in Bloomington in 2017. At more than 6-foot-8 he has always stood out above the crowd, even in football circles where almost everyone is above average size.
But Jones’ weight was much of the story at IU, and for him it had been the aspect of his massive frame that was always a challenge. He was listed at as much as 370 pounds on Indiana’s official roster since he came to Bloomington from Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, but that figure was north of 400 when he first arrived and yo-yo’d up and down since.
Jones weighed 370 pounds at IU’s pro day, a contributing factor to why he went undrafted. But by midway through training camp at Green Bay, he was down below 340 pounds.
Jones originally signed with Green Bay on May 2 as an undrafted free agent.
At IU, Jones appeared in 41 games for the Hoosiers and started the final 30 contests. He made 24 starts at right tackle and six at left tackle. In 2019, Jones earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the league’s coaches after making 12 starts at right tackle and one at left tackle. In 2020, he helped Indiana lead the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed per game (1.25), which tied for No. 17 nationally.
Jones becomes the eighth former IU player on NFL active rosters, joining Nate Sudfeld, Dan Feeney, Micah McFadden, Rodger Saffold, Ian Thomas, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Peyton Hendershot.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”