In Week 4, the Packers suffered possibly the most impactful injury of the season. Star cornerback Jaire Alexander injured one of his shoulders versus the Steelers. Since that game, it seemed the Packers’ secondary was doomed to be a carousel. General Manager Brian Gutekunst, however, had other plans. Rasul Douglas was activated from the Packers’ practice squad.
Like many, I was unfamiliar with Douglas’ name when it was first called on the field. That begs the question, who is Rasul Douglas, and how did he end up wearing green and gold?
Nassau Community College
Rasul Douglas started his college career at Nassau Community College in New York. Electing to redshirt the 2012 season, Douglas returned in 2013. In two seasons at NCC, he would record eighty-three tackles and eleven interceptions.
Following the 2014 season, Douglas transferred to West Virginia. He played in just five games his junior season, in which he recorded seven tackles, six solo tackles, and one assisted, as well as one interception and a forced fumble.
The 2016 season, however, would prove to be his breakout year.
In thirteen games, the six-foot-two cornerback recorded seventy tackles, forty-nine unassisted, twenty-one assisted, and three and a half tackles for loss. Douglas also recorded both an NCAA and Big 12 leading eight interceptions, 101 return yards on interceptions, third in the country, one pick-six, and a forced fumble. He’d also finish the year with eight passes defended, good for ninth in the Big 12.
With the 99th pick, in the third round of the 2017 draft, the Philidelphia Eagles selected Rasul Douglas. Douglas wasn’t the only corner the Eagles selected, being picked after Sidney Jones, whom the Eagles selected in the second round. On September 17th, 2017, Rasul Douglas would make his NFL debut, in which he notched four solo tackles and a pass deflection. In his first two seasons, Douglas would record 93 combined tackles (both solo and assisted) and three interceptions, allowing an average of 8.85 yards per target in 13 games.
On September 5th, 2020, Douglas fell victim to roster cuts and was waived.
However, the Carolina Panthers claimed him off the waiver wire the next day. Douglas started eleven games for the Panthers, in which he logged 62 combined tackles and allowed eight yards per target.
Practice Squad Journey
Following the 2020 season, Douglas was bouncing around the league
- Signed with the Las Vegas Raiders on April 19th, 2021
- Released August 3rd, 2021
- Signed with the Houston Texans on August 25th, 2021
- Released August 31st, 2021
- Signed with the Arizona Cardinals on September 3rd, 2021
Green Bay Packers
On October 6th, 2021, the Packers snagged Douglas off the Cardinals’ practice squad. At first, it seemed to me as if he was a stop-gap solution, just until the Packers’ secondary was healthy again. He quickly changed that opinion. Two weeks after his debut, he sealed the defeat of the then last undefeated team, the Arizona Cardinals, perhaps making them rethink not signing him to the active roster.
This year, Rasul Douglas has been a monster, tied for fifth in the league in interceptions. He has become a vital part of the Packers’ defense and could be starting alongside Jaire Alexander in the divisional round. If the league had an award for the most improved player, Rasul Douglas would have my vote.
Rasul Douglas has carved out his spot in the Packers’ starting defense and has excelled since being activated. Here’s hoping the Packers sign him long-term so I can add his jersey to my collection.