Even during the postseason, NFL teams are always looking to add talent to their roster. According to a report by ESPN’s Field Yates, the San Francisco 49ers were one of four teams that claimed defensive lineman Kinglsey Keke off waivers just a couple of days after the Green Bay Packers released him. However, since waiver priority is set in the reverse order of standings, the Niners lost out to the Houston Texans, who have added Keke to their roster. The New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys also claimed the 2019 5th-round pick.
With the 49ers scheduled to take on the Packers this weekend, San Francisco had multiple potential reasons to be eyeing Keke. Having spent his entire three-year career in Green Bay up until Wednesday of this week, Keke is very familiar with the Packers' defensive scheme and likely has extensive knowledge of Green Bay’s defensive gameplan going into their Divisional Round matchup against the Niners.
Besides his familiarity with the Packers, Keke could have also been a useful addition to the 49ers’ depth chart. With edge rushers Nick Bosa and Jordan Willis limited in practice this week with injuries, Keke might have received an immediate opportunity to contribute against his old team. He is also under contract through next season with just a $2.433 million cap hit in 2022.
This season, Keke appeared in 12 games (8 starts) for the Packers, recording 23 tackles, 4 quarterback hits, 3 passes defended, 2.5 sacks, and a 63.4 PFF Grade. Over his career, Keke has played in 41 games (17 starts) and racked up 54 tackles, 13 quarterback hits, 6.5 sacks, and 4 tackles for loss.