Last week, the Green Bay Packers signed linebacker Jaylon Smith to a one-year deal. However, he didn’t appear in the team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals since he was still familiarizing himself with the playbook.
With a full week of practice under his belt, Smith’s chances of playing this Sunday are much greater than they were a week ago. That being said, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur isn’t ready to make a final call on the veteran linebacker just yet.
LaFleur revealed that Green Bay will wait until the weekend to decide whether Smith will play against the Chicago Bears.
“We’ll continue to talk about that,” LaFleur told reporters. “He was out there in the mix. We want to make sure he’s comfortable and ready to go before we put him out there.”
As for ILB Jaylon Smith, who arrived 8 days ago, and if he's ready to play, LaFleur said: "We'll continue to talk about that. He was out there in the mix. We want to make sure he's comfortable and ready to go before we put him out there.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) October 15, 2021
There’s no question that LaFleur is a firm believer in Smith. When the team first announced the signing, LaFleur raved about the Notre Dame product’s leadership skills.
“He’s got a great presence, number one. And he’s got an infectious personality,” he said. “He’s a guy on the team everybody gravitated too, and a great leader.”
The Packers already have an emerging star at linebacker in De’Vondre Campbell, but their front seven can still use a shot in the arm. We’ll find out on Sunday if Smith can give LaFleur’s defense the boost that it’s looking for.