Every week, NFL teams can elevate up to two players from their practice squad to their active roster to dress on game day.
Why, you may ask, is this relevant? Well, because everyone’s favorite former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, Nathan Gerry, is on the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad, and many a fan hoped he’d be elevated to the active roster for Week 2 in place of IR linebacker Dre Greenlaw, which he, unfortunately, wasn’t.
*sigh* I guess we’ll just have to settle for a seriously depleted cornerbacks lineup that could feature old-timey names like Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick (more on that here).
So, despite Gerry being an incredibly unfortunate inactive for the Week 2 throwdown at the Linc, let’s take a look at how Nathan Gerry went from the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting linebacker in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season to a Week 2 inactive.
Nathan Gerry won’t be back on the field vs. the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.
Heading into the 2020 NFL season, there wasn’t a defensive player on the Philadelphia Eagles roster more primed for a breakout than Nathan Gerry.
On paper, he had everything going for him; Nigel Bradham was gone, as was randomly retired free agency addition Jatavis Brown, and the two linebackers Howie Roseman drafted, Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley, weren’t quite ready to contribute right away as rookies.
Then-defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was so confident in Gerry’s services that he gave the four-year linebacker the headset, allowing him to call the defense and verbalize the coach’s intentions on the field.
Indeed if there was ever a golden opportunity for a player to dictate their future in a contract year, it was Gerry in 2020, and oh dictate he did… just not in the way he may have intended.
Starting all seven games he appeared in, Gerry allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 84.4 percent of the balls thrown his way – the worst mark on the team – while allowing 258 yards, four touchdowns, and an opposing quarterback rating of 139.8.
Considering a perfect quarterback rating is 158.3, throwing to Gerry was about as easy an assignment as you’ll find in the NFL.
While Gerry’s season does deserve the tiniest bit of contextualization, as he was reportedly playing on an Achilles injury that undoubtedly affected his on-field play, it’s hard to trust the judgment of a player who allowed Chase Claypool to pull off the following play when he was responsible for the middle of the field.
Yikes, that’s still brutal almost a year later.
So naturally, when Gerry’s contract came to an end following a season-ending trip to IR, it was evident that a change of scenery was needed if the former strong safety out of Nebraska was ever going to break the stigma of being a lousy linebacker and have any chance to secure a long and healthy career in the NFL.
Likely? No, but you can’t hate a player for trying.
With seemingly limited options available on the open market, Gerry opted to take his talents to the Golden State alongside his fellow Nate, Sudfeld, to the San Francisco 49ers, in an attempt to catch on with a linebacking corps coached by a former Eagles linebacker, DeMeco Ryan.
*spoiler alert* it didn’t work.
Gerry suffered another injury, was waived with a settlement for said injury back in July and was eventually signed to the team’s practice squad alongside Sudfeld earlier this month.
And since then? Nothing. Gerry has practiced with the squad, but up to this point, he’s yet to see the active roster for any regular season action.
Will Nathan Gerry eventually see the field for the San Francisco 49ers this season? Probably. With Dre Greenlaw on IR with a groin injury, the Niners’ linebacking corps could certainly find themselves in need of extra bodies in the middle of their defense before too long. It’s really just a shame that won’t happen in Week 2, as I’m sure Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert would feel right at home taking snaps across from their former teammate.