Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Washington signs Nate Orchard, adds Hercules Mata'afa to the practice squad


The Washington Football Team has brought back defensive end Nate Orchard, signing him from the Green Bay Packers' practice squad. The team has also bolstered its practice squad numbers by bringing on defensive tackle Hercules Mata'afa.

Orchard, who first joined the league in 2015, was signed to the Packers' practice squad on Nov. 25 before rejoining Washington. His previous stops over the past year include the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans.

Orchard was previously signed by Washington prior to Week 13 of the 2019 season and had an impact in the team's final five games. During Washington's 29-21 win over Ron Rivera's Carolina Panthers, Orchard recorded a strip-sack on Kyle Allen during the Panthers' final drive of the game that ultimately sealed Washington's third win of the season. Orchard's final stats for that season included 14 tackles, two quarterback hits and a fumble recovery.

Orchard was re-signed with Washington in March of 2020 but was released as part of the team's roster cuts after training camp. He was then brought back to the practice the following day and released that November.

Mata'afa was most-recently part of the Vikings practice squad but was waived on Aug. 31. His last time on the field came in 2020, when he recorded 24 tackles, six quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks. Prior to that, Mata'afa was an undrafted free agent from Washington State and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in addition to being the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.

Related Content