Three weeks ago, Rasul Douglas sat languishing on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad. On Thursday night, he was ending the Cards’ undefeated season.
After being signed off Arizona’s practice squad by the banged-up Green Bay Packers in Week 6, Douglas started the past two games. He played every snap for the Packers in Thursday night’s 24-21 win, compiling a team-high nine tackles and two passes defended, and corralled the game-winning interception in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
“Blessed. Blessed. Blessed, man,” Douglas said, per the team’s official website. “You’re in a crazy mental state being in the league five years, never been on a practice squad before. And then one day you’re just on a practice squad, you feel like you’re working for nothing, kinda, and then you get a call and you’re somewhere else, and you’re just playing. So I’m just thankful.”
A third-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, Douglas struggled in Philly, getting picked on relentlessly. In 2019, the corner allowed a 101.3 passer rating against. The Eagles cut him before the 2020 season.
Douglas then latched on in Carolina in 2020, starting 11 games, but continued to struggle. After that, the league looked like it might be done with the 27-year-old corner.
He latched on with the Raiders this offseason but was released in late August. His cup of coffee didn’t even have time to get cold in Houston before the Texans cut him after seven days. He landed on the Cardinals’ practice squad to begin the 2021 season. And he waited. And waited. And waited.
The Packers came calling after injuries to star Jaire Alexander and fellow corner Kevin King put the team in desperation mode. Douglas has played the best ball of his career since joining Green Bay.
On Thursday night, with the game on the line, Douglas was on an island with the Packers calling an all-out blitz on Kyler Murray on second-and-goal with 15 seconds remaining. Arizona receiver A.J. Green inexplicably didn’t turn around. Douglas saw the ball the whole way, tipped it, snagged it and sealed a victory for his new team.
“That was probably the first time I’ve won a game like that,” Douglas said. “It was like a shocking feeling, like ‘Oh snap, we just won off that play.’ I was like kinda surprised. I just saw (Eric) Stokes running down, like ‘You just said you were going to get a pick.’ And I was like, ‘Well, it just came to life.'”
Much like his NFL career might have looked dead, Douglas came to life. And that’s why in the NFL, you never count out the underdog.
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