Vince Biegel is one step closer to playing for the NFL team that he has rooted for since childhood.
The Green Bay Packers activated Biegel from the reserve/physically unable to perform list on Friday. The rookie linebacker was sidelined for the first two months of the season as he slowly worked his way back from offseason foot surgery.
Biegel grew up in Wisconsin Rapids, which is about 110 miles west of Green Bay. He starred in college at Wisconsin, playing outside linebacker on the other side of current Pittsburgh Steelers rookie T.J. Watt.
Now, the home-state fan favorite is poised to play in his first NFL game when the Packers return from a bye to host the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
“Obviously, being in Wisconsin, there’s a lot of family members who have definitely been calling” for tickets, Biegel said Thursday. “My wife has already started an Excel spreadsheet for all the family members.”
Biegel was the first pick in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, the 108th overall selection. He should be an immediate contributor on special teams, and might help a pass rush that has just three sacks over the last four games.
The addition of Biegel was one of several moves Friday for the Packers, who continue to juggle the roster because of injuries.
Safety Kentrell Brice and long snapper Taybor Pepper were placed on injured reserve, while undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Donatello Brown was activated from the practice squad.
Brice played six games, making three starts, with 21 tackles and an interception. The second-year player started the last two games with starter Morgan Burnett sidelined by a hamstring injury.
Brice was often on the field when Burnett moved to an inside linebacker-type role in certain defensive schemes against spread looks.
Coach Mike McCarthy said that Pepper had a foot injury in practice Thursday. Pepper joined the team a couple weeks ago to replace Brett Goode, who went down for the year with a hamstring injury in Week 3.
The Packers are going with their third long snapper of the season in rookie Jon Hart, who was signed on Friday. Hart was released by the Packers late in the preseason after initially joining the team in March.