GREEN BAY – The Packers have added another veteran to their defense and special-teams ranks.
On Tuesday, Green Bay signed sixth-year linebacker Eric Wilson off New Orleans' practice squad. The former undrafted free agent has 278 tackles, eight tackles for loss and four interceptions in 78 regular-season games with 27 starts.
The Packers have been down an inside linebacker since Krys Barnes was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury on Sept. 13.
Here are five things to know about Wilson:
1. He made a name for himself in Minnesota.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker signed with the Vikings following the 2017 NFL Draft and wound up making the 53-man roster that summer as an undrafted free agent. Wilson played primarily on special teams his first two seasons before earning a starting spot in Mike Zimmer's defense.
In 2020, Wilson was the only NFL player to post 100 or more tackles (team-leading, career-high 122), 3.0 or more sacks (three) and three interceptions (three returned for 23 yards), while playing all 16 games with 15 starts. He also had a team-best eight stops for loss, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.
2. Wilson has ample special-teams experience.
He has recorded 26 coverage tackles on special teams with a pair of blocks during his five NFL seasons. Wilson blocked a Matt Bosher punt during the Vikings' 2019 regular-season opener vs. the Atlanta Falcons. The following year, he blocked an extra-point attempt by Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein.
3. He forced a fumble against the Packers this past summer.
Wilson had four tackles and the forced fumble of Tyler Davis that set up New Orleans' only touchdown – a 20-yard pass from Ian Book to Chris Olave – during the Saints' 20-10 loss to Green Bay on Aug. 19.
Wilson was New Orleans' second-leading tackler (11) in the preseason but was among the Saints' final cuts at the end of training camp. He spent the first four weeks on the team's practice squad.
In 2020, Wilson also was credited with a forced fumble in the Vikings' regular-season opener against Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium.
4. The Packers will be Wilson's fifth NFL team.
After four seasons with the Vikings, Wilson signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an unrestricted free agent in April 2021. He made two starts in seven appearances for the Eagles, recording 46 tackles and an interception. Wilson was claimed off waivers by Houston on Nov. 4, recording two special-teams tackles in seven games for the Texans.
5. He was an All-AAC linebacker at Cincinnati.
A native of Cleveland, Wilson started his college career at Northwestern before transferring to Cincinnati in 2013.
Wilson started 24 of 38 career games for the Bearcats, leading the defense in tackles during both his junior and senior seasons. He was named first-team All-American Athletic Conference and the Claude Rust Award winner as the team's MVP after recording a career-best 126 tackles and three sacks. He ran a 4.53 time in the 40 with a 39½ inch vertical at his Cincinnati pro day.