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Green-haired Bashaud Breeland and Raven Greene help Packers' D

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Bashaud Breeland still had the dyed streaks of red (burgundy, actually) in his hair until a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t until shortly before he played in his first game for the Green Bay Packers that he made the color change.

"I’m with the Packers now, so I wanted to do a little something different," the former Washington Redskins cornerback said. "It was red before, like kind of burgundy for the Redskins, so I just tried to change it up."

Bashaud Breeland finally feels like he's part of the Packers now – from his new green hair to his first interception. Video here:

Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer ago

Signed on Sept. 26, after a long offseason of recovery from a bizarre foot injury, Breeland was inactive until two weeks ago, when he made his debut against the New England Patriots. A week later against the Dolphins, he came up with his first interception in 11 months in the Packers’ 31-12 win on Sunday.

"All I’ve been through this offseason, to finally get back and play ball, and to make a play like that and really help our team gain the momentum, it was a glorious moment for me," Breeland said.

He wasn’t the only defender to make an unexpected impact. Undrafted rookie safety Raven Greene, who hadn’t played a single snap on defense before Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, played 30 snaps and recorded his first NFL sack when defensive coordinator Mike Pettine sent an all-out blitz. He’s now officially part of the NFL’s sack-leading defense. He also had a would-be interception slip through his hands. Greene also ran the fake-punt play, taking the direct snap from the personal protector spot and running for 26 yards.

"Who would’ve thought Raven Greene was going to have an interception, or, sorry, a sack, for us and a fake punt run and Bashaud was going to have an interception in the game when he wasn’t even with us at the start of the season?" quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "That’s the way it goes and that’s the beauty of this game. You never know when your opportunity is going to show up."

Rodgers said that can be a lesson for the Packers’ offensive players -- such as backup receivers J'Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown, fourth-string tight end Robert Tonyan or third-string running back Tra Carson.

"We need those guys on offense to have that same mindset," Rodgers said. "It might be this week, it might be in five weeks but, at some point, those guys are going to be called on, whether it’s J’Mon or Eq or Bobby or Carson. You never know when their opportunity’s going to come and there’s expectation you’re going to make a play when you’re in there."

Breeland was one of the top cornerbacks on the free-agent market in March and signed an $8 million-a-year deal with the Carolina Panthers that was voided when he failed the physical because of a foot infection from a cut that got reopened while on vacation. He didn’t sign with another team until a minimum-priced deal with the Packers in September. He then injured a hamstring almost right away, delaying his chance to play. He finally got it after starting cornerback Kevin King suffered a hamstring injury of his own and missed the Nov. 4 game at New England.

Meanwhile, Greene waited his turn. It finally came after Ha Ha Clinton-Dix got traded to Washington, Jermaine Whitehead got cut and Kentrell Brice went down with an ankle injury against the Dolphins.

"You could see in training camp Raven was doing some really good things on special teams," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "The defensive part of it, he was a little further behind. But it’s a product of our culture, and then you’ve got to give him a ton of credit, just the extra work he puts into it. So I thought he did a lot of good things. That fake and to just jump in there in Week 1 and do it, because obviously he hadn’t been the starter there. I thought he made some plays on defense, too."