Packers Promote Standout WR to Active Roster Ahead of Falcons Matchup

Pack Signs Begelton 53

Getty Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers looks on in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Reggie Begelton has officially made his jump to an NFL active roster.

Begelton, a former CFL standout wide receiver, was signed up from the practice squad to the Green Bay Packers‘ active roster hours ahead of Week 4’s home game against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football. He will expectedly factor into the receiving mix with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard both sidelined with injuries.

Begelton inked a reserve/future contract for 2020 season with the Packers during last year’s postseason run after finishing up his third CFL season for the Calgary Stampeders, in which he caught 102 passes for 1,444 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was retained for the practice squad after missing the Packers’ initial 53-man roster cut in September.

The Packers also elevated linebacker De’Jon “Scoota” Harris and defensive lineman Billy Winn to their game-day roster against the Falcons, calling upon the latter for a second straight week with star nose tackle Kenny Clark expected to miss Monday’s game.

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Which Receivers Will Step Up for Packers?

Three of the Packers’ top four wide receivers will not factor into Monday’s game against the Falcons with Adams ruled out and Lazard and Equanimeous St. Brown both on IR, but that doesn’t mean Aaron Rodgers will be without receiving weapons.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been looking to take his next step as a third-year receiver and won’t have much a choice as the only on-roster wideout with more than one career catch on his record. He has caught seven passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in his first two games as a second- and third-option receiver and has the speed to devastate an injury-battered Falcons secondary, which has given up 350.3 passing yards per game (second-worst in the NFL).

At the same time, New Orleans was able to restrict MVS to just one catch for five yards in Week 3 without having to worry about Adams, while Atlanta should have an even easier time focusing him with Lazard also out of the lineup. That means more will be needed from the other on-roster wideouts, including Malik Taylor — who made no catches in the first three games — and the recently promoted Darrius Shepherd.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Packers running back Aaron Jones picked out Shepherd as one of three offensive playmakers who he expects could shine on Monday night now that he is effectively the Packers’ WR2.

Jones also talked up MVS and tight end Robert Tonyan, who could be needed even more with Marcedes Lewis doubtful to play with a knee injury.

Will Winn Become Next to Earn 53-Man Spot?

The Packers making use of Winn for a second straight week could be an encouraging sign for his attempts to regain a regular role with an NFL team. The veteran defensive lineman only played six defensive snaps in Week 3 during his first promotion, but it would be difficult to call it anything other than a milestone for someone who hasn’t played a snap since New Years Day in 2017.

Does a second call-up mean Winn has a shot of landing a permanent place on the active roster, though?

How Winn is used in Week 4 against the Falcons could be telling. On one hand, Winn could simply be a veteran depth-filler to compensate for the absence of Clark, playing minimal snaps when necessary to avoid letting the group bottom out. If that’s the case, then his time with the Packers could soon be coming to an end with him already using up his two allotted game-day elevations for the season. The Packers could be back to full strength if Clark is ready to go again in Week 6 coming out of the bye.

And yet, Winn could also make an impression against the Falcons that would justify keeping him on the practice squad — or even signing him to the active roster — with Montravius Adams only playing a handful more snaps than him. The question now is whether the Packers will give Winn a tougher test in Week 4 with more playing time or keep him in his “as-needed” role.

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