Less than a year after his Green Bay Packers teammates jokingly questioned if he was actually a real person, former BYU football player Zayne Anderson is making a mark on his team’s summer practices.

Anderson had three interceptions in a single minicamp practice in June, a performance that will help his chances of making the team this fall and of getting into a game on defense.

“I always tell the guys and I always tell myself, and remind myself, that if you’re doing the right thing and doing the right technique, the ball will come to you when it’s supposed to come to you. ... Luckily, it was gravitating towards me. It was a good day,” Anderson told reporters after his big day, according to Packers.com.

Zayne Anderson’s NFL career

Anderson is hoping for a big 2024-25 season after struggling with injuries for much of the past year.

The October 2023 video showing Packers players debate Anderson’s existence played off the fact that he had finally returned to practice after struggling for weeks with hamstring issues, as the Deseret News previously reported.

Anderson was available for the Packers’ final 12 games of last season, but he only contributed on special teams, according to Packers.com. So far this offseason, he’s been playing with the No. 2 defense.

“The 27-year-old safety ... has yet to play a defensive snap in an NFL regular-season game,” the article said.

Anderson came to the Packers in August 2023 after a brief stint with the Buffalo Bills.

From 2021 to early 2023, he was with the Kansas City Chiefs, bouncing between the practice squad and active roster. He was with the team for its Super Bowl win in February 2023.

Before entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent, Anderson spent six seasons with BYU.

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After his big practice in June, Anderson spoke about the importance of working hard each day, whether you’re a starter or a member of the practice squad.

“I was undrafted, so it’s nothing new to me to have guys get drafted or big contracts come in. It’s another challenge, and you just control what you can control. Your reps, make those the best reps possible. That’s been my attitude,” he said, per Packers.com.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur praised Anderson’s work ethic during his own meeting with reporters that day.

“He had a heck of a day, huh?” LaFleur said, according to Packers.com. “Zayne, he always approaches it the right way and gives great effort. He started to gain some confidence as a player last season, especially on ‘we-fense.’ And then to see him get more opportunities on defense and go out there and make plays, I think that’s exciting.”

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