Defensive back Rasul Douglas's road to a job in the NFL has been anything but smooth. After serving as a fairly regular defender for the Eagles from 2017 to 2019, in which he logged around 50 percent of the team's defensive snaps, he was waived prior to the 2020 season. The Panthers then picked him up for 2020 and he played 14 games but was not re-signed. Since then, he was signed and released by the Raiders. He was signed and released by the Texans. He was signed to the Cardinals practice squad but was never elevated, at which point the Green Bay Packers swooped in and signed him themselves.
That was on October 6, 2021. And just a handful of weeks later, he's made massive plays for Green Bay's defense and has been the topic of conversation by Aaron Rodgers, the team's coaches and nearly every fan in the Packers community.
In Week 12, with a potential NFC playoff battle in the works, Douglas added to the Packers' lead over the Rams with a clutch pick-six toward the end of the third quarter.
About a month prior, he made the game-sealing interception to defeat the then-undefeated Cardinals with a brilliant red zone play.
And that's a practice squad player who is making these plays, turning games around if not quite literally deciding them, for perhaps the best team in the league. How the heck was he a practice squad player? That's what Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers would like to know.
"When you’re talking about Rasul, like how was this guy on the practice squad?" Rodgers said (via Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia). "I mean, the dude has made so many plays for us. He’s got great instincts, good ball skills, he's made opportunistic plays for us."
Star wideout Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry also complimented the team for finding Douglas from a practice squad.
Since Douglas joined the secondary, the Packers have held opposing quarterbacks to an 80.5 passer rating, which is seventh best in the league in the span of Week 6 to Week 12. Prior to that point, the number was 97.5, and though you can't attribute all that to Douglas, his presence has certainly been felt. Opposing completion percentage is also just at 59.7 percent since Douglas hopped on board, making the Packers one of only six teams to hold their opponents under 60 percent in that category over that span.
With numbers like these to back up the signing — one that cost the team under a million dollars to make — you can't blame the NFL community for being thrilled with Douglas's play.