Packers Work Out Ex-Bills LB & National Champion WR

Packers Workouts 12/26

Getty Buffalo Bills Andre Holmes #18, Corey Thompson #52 and Tremaine Edmunds #49 celebrate during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at New Era Field on November 25, 2018 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers aren’t giving up their search for useful talent simply because the end of the season is around the corner.

Prior to their 40-14 win over the Tennessee Titans, the Packers worked out five players the day after Christmas as potential additions for their rosters; though, all of them would most likely be practice-squad candidates. Among the group was outside linebacker Corey Thompson, who played two seasons with the Buffalo Bills and has tallied 21 tackles and a forced fumble over his career.

The Packers also hosted nose tackle P.J. Johnson — a 2019 seventh-round pick for the Detroit Lions — for a tryout along with defensive back Godwin Igwebuike, tight end Jordan Jones and wide receiver Derrick Dillon on the same day, according to Monday’s NFL release of workouts/visits.

The Packers would need to clear a space on either their 53-man active roster or 16-player practice squad to make another signing, but swap-outs haven’t been uncommon for Green Bay throughout this season. They currently have at least one practice-squad player at defensive lineman, outside linebacker, tight end and wide receiver, but none at safety.

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Dillon Spent Most of 2020 With Giants

Thompson is the most NFL experienced among the Packers’ five workout players while Johnson has the distinction of being a drafted talent, but not one of them except for Dillon can call himself a national champion.

The 5-foot-11, 186-pound wideout wasn’t the prolific pass-catcher that Justin Jefferson was at LSU, but Dillon still averaged 13.5 yards on 15 receptions as Joe Burrow and the Tigers marched to a title in 2019. His career average was in the same neighborhood at 12.4 yards on 51 catches, good for 634 yards and four touchdowns over his career. He also took 15 carries out of the backfield as a sophomore, gaining 86 rushing yards.

Dillon’s numbers and build weren’t enough to entice anyone with a draft pick this past spring, but he still earned a UDFA contract with the New York Giants and spent a majority of the 2020 season as a member of their practice squad. They did release him for about a week in September, but only on the promise that he would be re-signed after getting a chance to spend time with his new family.

Nevertheless, Dillon never spent any time on the Giants’ active roster and was released in early December. He has been a free agent ever since.

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