The 2020 season brought with it more than enough quirks for a lifetime, but it looks like we'll have at least one more heading into the divisional round. There, veteran offensive lineman Jared Veldheer is on the verge of pulling off something that has never been done in league history: play for two different playoff teams in the same postseason.
After spending the bulk of the 2020 regular season without a team, Veldheer signed on with the Indianapolis Colts practice squad in late December. He was then called up in time for Indy's wild-card matchup with the Buffalo Bills, a game which the Colts ended up losing, 27-24, on Saturday. Under normal circumstances, Veldheer's 2020 season would come to a close in lockstep with Indianapolis. However, these are not normal times.
Because Veldheer was on the Colts practice squad and not the active roster, and was simply elevated to the gameday roster through the NFL's special protocols to give teams flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, he reverted back to the practice unit right as the game ended. That tweak in the rules for this season opened the door for the Green Bay Packers to sign him, which they did on Monday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Had Veldheer been on the active roster, this wouldn't have been possible as those players remain under contract with their respective team and cannot sign elsewhere -- in most cases -- until the free agency window opens with the new league year in the spring. The practice squad, however, freed him up to do continue his search for a Super Bowl.
Veldheer's arrival comes just nine days after the Packers placed star left tackle David Bakhtiari on injured reserve. That hole along the offensive line could see the 33-year-old get some significant playing time for Green Bay as they take on the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round. Against the Bills last week, Veldheer played every snap for the Colts and was solid, earning passable marks from Pro Football Focus.
The 6-foot-8, 321 pounder was a third-round draft choice of the Raiders back in 2010 and bounced around the league over the last decade, making stops with the Cardinals, Broncos, Patriots, and most recently the Colts. He also even spent some time in 2019 with the Packers, making this his second stint with the club. That year, he was merely a reserve player and suited up for two games.