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Green Bay Packers release former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith after two games

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GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers made a low-risk gamble signing veteran Jaylon Smith to a minimum-wage deal on Oct. 7, hoping to see if the former Dallas Cowboys standout had anything left and could help strengthen the defense and the locker room culture.

Four weeks later, the Packers have pulled the plug on the tryout.

The Packers informed Smith on Tuesday that he was being released, a person with knowledge of the move told the USA TODAY Network, confirming an ESPN report that first broke the news. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose personnel moves before they became official.

In the four games in which he was on the 53-man roster, Smith played in two of them and logged a total of 27 snaps. When he was inactive for the Arizona Cardinals game Thursday night, it led to speculation that he might not be around much longer.

The Packers have been doing well with De’Vondre Campbell as their No. 1 inside linebacker and Oren Burks and Krys Barnes sharing the No. 2 spot. Burks is better spreading out in space either to cut off outside runs or drop into coverage and Barnes is better playing between the tackles and defending against inside runs.

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Green Bay Packers linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) misses a tackle on Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) during the third quarter of their game Sunday, October 17m 2021 at Solider Field in Chicago, Ill. The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 24-14.
Green Bay Packers linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) misses a tackle on Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) during the third quarter of their game Sunday, October 17m 2021 at Solider Field in Chicago, Ill. The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 24-14.

Besides probably feeling secure at the position, the Packers may soon need Smith’s roster spot.

With his release, they are at 50 players. It’s almost a certainty that wide receiver Davante Adams will be activated off the COVID-19 list this week, and it’s possible that left tackle David Bakhtiari will come off the physically unable to perform list and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be activated from injured reserve.

If all those things happen, the Packers will be at the roster limit of 53.

Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) practiced for the first time since the injury Monday and Bakhtiari (knee) has been practicing for the last two weeks. The Packers don’t have to make a decision on whether to activate them for the Kansas City game until Saturday.

The Packers are still waiting to find out whether cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith will be able to return this season. Both are on injured reserve.

Alexander has been rehabbing, and while the Packers are pleased with his progress, they won’t know for sure about his status until he is healed. Smith is coming off back surgery and after rehabbing at home rejoined the team this week. However, his return isn’t imminent, and he will have to be cleared by the medical staff before he can start practicing again.

This article originally appeared on Packers News: Jaylon Smith: Packers release former Cowboys LB after two games