Packers Claim Run-Stopping DT Off Waivers From Bears: Report

Anthony Rush Packers

Getty Anthony Rush #66 of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Kalen Ballage #27 of the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Miami, Florida.

The Green Bay Packers are looking across the rivalry lines and adding a run-stopping defensive lineman off the waivers from the Chicago Bears before the two teams clash for Sunday Night Football at Lambeau Field.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Packers have claimed defensive tackle Anthony Rush off the waivers after he was cut loose Tuesday from the Bears’ active roster. Rush has spent time with four other teams since coming into the league as an undrafted rookie in 2019, including two separate stints in Philadelphia and a few months earlier this year with Seattle.

While Rush’s signing has not yet been made official, the Packers did announce Wednesday they were placing defensive lineman Montravius Adams and linebacker James Burgess on injured reserve after each was named in Week 12’s first injury report. Adams missed all of practice last week with a toe injury and did not play against Indianapolis on Sunday, while Burgess emerged from the 34-31 loss to the Colts with a hamstring injury.

The Packers will have two open spots on their 53-man roster once Rush’s signing is announced, but it is possible one or both of those spots could go to rookies AJ Dillon or Krys Barnes — who each are still on the reserve/COVID-19 list and are expected to be activated again soon.

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Rush Offers Depth Piece, Little Experience

There isn’t much that pops off the page on Rush’s limited NFL resume with just 215 defensive snaps played since he came into the league in 2019. He recorded nine tackles, three for a loss, over nine games on the Eagles’ active roster as a rookie, then added another five tackles and half of a sack while chipping in with the Seahawks for four games earlier this season.

Rush, though, knew how to use his size (6-foot-5, 350 pounds in college) to fill up lanes and keep opposing rushers from crashing through during his two years as a starter at UAB. He was also aggressive with that bulk and displayed good ball skills that led to him forcing two fumbles as a senior and recording a pick-six in his Division I debut in 2017.

Trust me; you’ll have a different opinion of the 350-pound defensive lineman after watching him swat that ball out of the air, paw it in his hands and motor 27 yards downfield for a touchdown.

Rush Could Have Minor Role With Injuries

The Packers could elect to take the same approach as the Bears did with Rush, keeping him on hand as a deep depth piece and cutting him loose once more-established guys are healthier. They might also be able to use him for insider knowledge on the Bears’ defense — if you believe a second-year defensive tackle who hasn’t been able to stay on a roster holds revolutionary intel.

Green Bay, however, might also be willing to give Rush a greater platform to succeed. Adams is now gone for a minimum of three weeks, and veteran Billy Winn was added to the Week 12 injury report with a knee injury; though, he was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. Even with Winn, the Packers may still find room for Rush as the sixth man in the rotation.

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