Packers announce signing of OLB Whitney Mercilus

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The Green Bay Packers announced the signing of veteran outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus on Thursday.

The addition was first reported by Aaron Wilson and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Wednesday. The Houston Texans released Mercilus on Tuesday.

The timing was just about perfect for the Packers, who are hurting at outside linebacker and could use the veteran help. The defense is without All-Pro Za’Darius Smith, who is on injured reserve with a significant back injury, and veteran starter Preston Smith is now dealing with an oblique injury.

The Packers hope Mercilus can add a boost to the pass-rushing group.

Now 31 years old, Mercilus left Houston with 57 sacks and 13 forced fumbles, both the second-most in Texans history, plus seven more postseason sacks. The 31-year-old produced three sacks in six games this season.

It’s possible Mercilus could make his Packers debut on Sunday against the Washington Football Team.

Mercilus wore No. 59 his entire career in Houston but will wear No. 50 with the Packers. Tipa Galeai, who is on the practice squad, switched from No. 50 to No. 40. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell wears No. 59.

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