Packers veteran CB Tramon Williams in mix at safety
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams is in the mix to replace the traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety for the Green Bay Packers.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said Williams will play some safety, though he did not classify it as a full-time move for now.
The Packers are preparing for a tough road game against quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
The 35-year-old Williams is in his second stint with the Packers after returning this past offseason to the team that gave him his first shot in the NFL in 2007 as an undrafted second-year player out of Louisiana Tech.
Williams brought a veteran presence to a young cornerback group. Now he could help at safety after Clinton-Dix, a fifth-year starter, was traded this week to the Washington Redskins for a fourth-round draft pick.
Williams, a 12-year pro, started two games at safety while with the Cleveland Browns in 2016. Teammates have marveled about the veteran's leadership skills and fitness to stay in the league so long.
"He can find the football and he plays with good vision and has a good sense of when to break and just the understanding of football," Pettine said. "He's played in the slot, he's played outside. So there's no reason to think that he can't, at times, help us at safety."
Jermaine Whitehead, who was limited in practice on Thursday with a back injury, and Josh Jones are other options for increased playing time at safety to replace Clinton-Dix alongside Kentrell Brice.
The health of rookie Jaire Alexander, who played well against the Rams, and veteran Bashaud Breeland, will help at cornerback especially if coach Mike McCarthy elects to use Williams at safety. Breeland hasn't played yet since joining the Packers as a free agent in late September after being listed with a hamstring injury.
Williams said that he has a chance to get a different perspective and survey the whole field as a safety.
"I think that's going to help out a lot because that's one thing that I do is study. I do study offenses, I do study formations, I do study people," Williams said.
"Where they get lined up on the field, it tells you a lot of things, so I better communicate to guys all over the field, which was one of the things that I recognized when I play inside."
NOTES: Alexander and QB Aaron Rodgers (left knee) were full participants in practice after being limited on Wednesday. ... LB Nick Perry (ankle) returned to practice as limited after missing Wednesday. ... The Packers added a groin injury to go with Geronimo Allison's sore hamstring on the status report. Allison was limited a second straight day.