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An Offseason Look at Injured Players on Packers Roster

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An Offseason Look at Injured Players on Packers Roster

Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop. Photo by Corey Behnke of CheeseheadTV.com.

Based upon reports from any number of team beat writers, the following list of players have not participated in either some or part of the Packers' Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this offseason.

I'll attempt to go through the details of each player's injury, as information allows. Please note that unless each player makes themselves available to the media to willingly talk about their injury, full details may not be available. Head coach Mike McCarthy's stance is that since OTAs are technically voluntary workouts, he will not talk about injuries.

After describing each injury, I'll speculate about each player's chances of contributing to the team this season. I'm not a doctor, but I play one on this blog.

Desmond Bishop

The injury: Bishop tore his right hamstring in the Packers' first exhibition game of the 2012 season. He was placed on injured reserve and missed the entire year. His hamstring continues to prevent him from taking part in the team's offseason program thus far.

The prognosis: When healthy, Bishop has been the team's best all-around inside linebacker from the 2010 season forward. Whether he's able to return from his hamstring injury to play at the same high level he's played in the past remains to be seen. Nobody's counting out Bishop yet, but the possibility exists that he's never able to get back to the 2010 and 2011 version of himself. Based upon the size of the contract the Packers gave Brad Jones in the offseason, one might conclude the Packers have some reservations about Bishop as well.

ETA: In a recent interview published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bishop said he'll be ready for training camp, but it's not uncommon for a player to have a more optimistic timetable for return than the team. By the time training camp rolls around Bishop will be about 11 months removed from his injury, so there's a chance he'll be ready to return. But don't be surprised if the Packers play it safe with a veteran already well-versed in the Packers defensive schemes. It wouldn't be unprecedented if the Packers held Bishop out for the first couple weeks of training camp.

Derek Sherrod

The injury: Just when it seemed like Sherrod was starting to make some strides in an otherwise nondescript rookie season in the NFL, he broke both the right tibia and fibula in a gruesome incident against the Kansas City Chiefs in December of 2011. He spent the entire 2012 season on the PUP list as well. You might think almost 18 months removed from his injury, Sherrod would be ready to return, but head coach Mike McCarthy only recently divulged that Sherrod underwent a second surgery on his leg, which is preventing him from participating in OTAs.

The prognosis: It's not helping that Sherrod hasn't been able to participate in a second straight offseason program, but the good news is that he was young when his injury occurred. Lessons can be learned from former Packers center Mike Flanagan who suffered almost the exact same injury as Sherrod back in 1996, sat out for multiple seasons, but eventually came back to become a Pro Bowl caliber player. He has a chance to win the Packers' starting right tackle job if he's healthy and capable.

ETA: The Packers aren't going to take chances in rushing Sherrod back, but forced to guess, he'll be ready to come back at some point during the 2013 season. It's not out of the question that he begins the season on the PUP list, but without more information, it's difficult to tell exactly how he's progressing.

Jerel Worthy

The injury: The timing of Worthy's injury wasn't good. He tore the ACL in his left leg during the regular-season finale against the Minnesota Vikings last season. Just days before he underwent reconstructive knee surgery, Worthy confusingly described the injury as a bruise, but reports later confirmed the torn ACL. He now faces long odds in coming back from injury to be factor in 2013.

The prognosis: Worthy recently proclaimed that he's going to play again this season, and said so with relative certainty. But he wouldn't be the first athlete to overestimate his timetable for return from injury. It's not a good thing when big men like Worthy tear ligaments, but like Sherrod, at least it happened when he's young.

ETA: The best-case scenario for Worthy is that he starts training camp on the PUP list and comes back sometime around midseason. The more-likely scenario, however, is that Worthy misses the entire year––not unlike Sherrod and Andrew Quarless a season ago.

Davon House

The injury: After sustaining a subluxation to his left shoulder in the 2012 preseason, House came back to play in nine games with a brace. He then re-aggravated his shoulder in December, was inactive the rest of the way, and underwent offseason surgery. He hasn't taken part in the team's offseason program.

The prognosis: Unless there are aspects of House's injury that have not been made public, he has not broken any bones or torn any muscles or ligaments. There's no reason to think he'll lose any speed or mobility, and that bodes well for a full recovery. The recent shoulder injury to fellow cornerback Tramon Williams may serve as a cautionary tale, however.

ETA: Until told otherwise, I'm working under the assumption that House will be available for the start of training camp. Of course, it's always dangerous to make assumptions.

Sean Richardson

The injury: In November of 2012, Richardson suffered a herniated disc in his neck and was placed on injured reserve, missing the rest of the season. He underwent a single neck-fusion surgery in the offseason, which is no small deal, especially for a person who makes his living in a contact-driven sport like football. According to an interview published in several local media outlets, Richardson says he's on Step 4 of a five-step process in his return to the football field.

The prognosis: Even if Richardson seems to be making progress and is on four of five steps toward his return, seeing him play on a football field once again is no given. Look no further than former Packers safety Nick Collins who underwent spinal-fusion surgery and then retired from the sport before the 2012 season. But the Packers are giving Richardson every opportunity to make a return, and the fact that he's still on their roster is a positive sign. I'd say it's roughly 60%/40% that he returns at all, giving him a slight edge at a more optimistic outcome.

ETA: It might be overly optimistic to say that Richardson will clear all his hurdles by the start of training camp in late July. Expect the Packers to play it safe and see a comeback midway through training camp, if at all.

J.C. Tretter

The injury: On the very first day of OTAs in Green Bay, Tretter reportedly broke his ankle during a drill. According to a report at JSOnline, "He suffered a fracture at the lower end of his fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle."

The prognosis: It's too early to assume Tretter will be lost for all of 2013. As the article at JSOnline points out, Bengals center Kyle Cook sustained a similar injury in August of last year and came back to play late in the season. It might be wishful thinking for Tretter to make the same recovery.

ETA: The best-case scenario might be for Tretter to be placed on the PUP list or on injured reserve with the "designated for return" label, meaning he could return at some point midseason. There more-likely scenario probably has him being lost for the year.

Dezman Moses

The injury: All that's known at this point is Moses has yet to practice since sessions started to be open to the public in May. He hasn't talked to the media since OTAs began, so his injury is a mystery.

The prognosis: Whether or not the move has been made due to the lack of depth at outside linebacker, the Packers are experimenting Mike Neal at the position this offseason. Whatever the case, it only adds extra competition for Moses. But as McCarthy would say, jobs are not won and lost in the offseason.

ETA: For all we know, Moses may be ready to return in time for minicamp on Tuesday. Without more information, we just don't know.

DuJuan Harris

The injury: There was no known injury to Harris coming into the offseason, so like Moses, his situation is unclear. He also hasn't spoken to the media to set the record straight.

The prognosis: Despite taking both Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin during the NFL Draft, Alex Green has been acting as the Packers' starter at running back since the offseason began. Those are reps Harris could be taking and benefitting from. Assuming he returns in time for training camp, however, the time he's missed shouldn't cost him greatly.

ETA: There's no reason to think Harris' injury, or whatever is keeping him from practicing, is serious. So it's possible he'll be able to return before the offseason program ends.

Charles Johnson

The injury: After taking part in the team's rookie orientation camp, Johnson hasn't practiced since OTAs started. No specifics have been made public.

The prognosis: Missing practice time isn't good for any player, but it's especially costly for a rookie. The more time he misses, the further he falls behind. Jarrett Boykin has the inside track on the fourth wide receiver job on the depth chart, and isn't being pushed by Johnson this offseason.

ETA: If the Packers are mum on Johnson's injury, it probably isn't serious. He could return any day, but that's merely an assumption.

Kevin Dorsey

The injury: Dorsey is in the same boat as Johnson. He took part in rookie orientation camp, but hasn't practiced since OTAs began. If a reason has been given, I haven't seen it.

The prognosis: Just based upon Johnson being taken ahead of Dorsey in the NFL Draft, it would appear as if Johnson would be given preference over Dorsey, all other things being equal. Dorsey needs to return to the football field ASAP to prevent falling further behind.

ETA: Like several others on this list, information on Dorsey is incomplete. He might return tomorrow, but we just don't know for sure.

Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (33) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lars's picture

It's not too early to assume re: Tretter. He's out. The prognosis was at least six months and the injury was compared in severity to Grant's injury. IR because of a stupid drill in the OTA and a rookie season lost.

House has been injury prone from day 1 in GB. He's Sam Shields best argument for the long-term contract.

Ahh, Sherrod---the always inaccurate, wishful-thinking comparisons to Mike Flanagan. Sure, he's "young." So, was Justin Harrell, and as a former first round pick---there's a more accurate comparison. Bust until proven otherwise, unless one is bending over backwards to recite the company line. And,, like Harrell, it's not like Sherrod set the world on fire BEFORE he was injured. Cue the lockout excuse.;))

Idiot Fan's picture

The similarity between Sherrod and Flanagan is that they had the same injury. The similarity between Sherrod and Harrell is that fans like to complain about them and Ted Thompson is an idiot and whateverthefuck...

PackerBacker's picture

Harrell missed time due to his back and an ACL injury. How exactly should we compare that to a broken leg?

Yeah, you're right, we should compare him to that instead of an offensive lineman with a broken leg. Good call. Yikes.

There aren't any signs that Sherrod has an injury history that would show him as a future risk.

But of course, he wasn't flawlessly perfect at the beginning of his rookie year, so obviously he's a waste of space and should be thrown on the scrap heap.

Just dumb.

Evan's picture

^^^ This.

There needs to be a Packers version of Godwin's Law for when fans compare someone to Justin Harrell.

cow42's picture

i'm not going to compare the dude to anyone, but i am going to predict that he will never play football as a Packer.

PackerBacker's picture

Based on what, his injury or his skill level?

mark's picture

Weird. Cow with a pessimistic outlook on a situation involving the Packers.

Go figure.

MarkinMadison's picture

And just to add a bit, the other thing was that Harrell had back injury issues at the time he was drafted. That is why he fell to #16. As you said, Sherrod had no injury indicators at draft time.

ben's picture

Well said lars. Sharrod "starting to make strides" before his injury is wishful thinking. I for one wanted the packers to draft sharrod. But I for 1 was wrong. At no point has he impressed.

Stroh's picture

How could he? Sherrod came to GB w/ NO offseason, and an abbreviated training camp as a rookie. He didn't have OTA's, he didn't have minicamps and didn't get a freaking playbook till he stepped foot in GB for the abbreviated training camp. To expect him to become a viable starter w/o the benefit of even knowing the offense is just silly. Then as he was starting to get a chance to assert himself down the stretch, he had the gruesome injury. He never had a chance to learn... Last year his offseason was wiped out and this year is still up in the air. The lockout killed his chances of making a big impression as a rookie and the injury has prevented it since. Your throwing him under a bus for things completely beyond his control. How about if we let him get his feet on a field and a knowledge of the Packers schemes before we decide whether he can or cannot play!

PackerBacker's picture

+1000

Nailed it Stroh.

Evan's picture

100%.

I'll only add that in that abbreviated training camp, how much time was wasted playing him at guard, too?

So, a big chunk of his already limited time to learn was wasted.

cow42's picture

yes - the deck has been stacked against him but someone who's a first round pick should be able to show enough (even in limited time) to outshine the likes of Marshall Newhouse.

i mean... come on.

now take a guy who wasn't as good as Newhouse... and chop his leg in half.

i want him to be a stud... just not feelin' it.

Morgan Mundane's picture

Great report. My gripe with the Packers Org. is they really keep injuries quiet. Case in point Harris. Who are we kidding in keeping this quiet? If he's not injured why isn't he practicing and if he is injured what is it and when is he expected back?
The fans keep questioning this and that and it goes on and on because they aren't upfront about things. To come out and say Sherrod broke two bones and probably will miss an entire season and then some kind of settles it.

PackerBacker's picture

How does it benefit the team to release this information. It's not in their best interest to advertise this.

If it doesn't have to be said, don't say it.

BrianD's picture

Because they're entertainers running an entertainment business and the fans would like to know why their favorite entertainers are not currently entertaining us!

Jamie's picture

BWAAAAAAHAHAHAGAFAFACHIOL BLFDSUMKLLL!!!!!'

PackerBacker's picture

They're in the business to win and many fans come to see them win. If they feel that they get an advantage by not expressing every bit information that comes accross their desk, then they should do it.
It's the press' job to try to dig it up.

Fish . Crane's picture

ahh..like the man said, "This is entertainment. It says so in the fine prints on the tickets."

redlights's picture

Is it possible that Johnson, Harris and Dorsey failed a test on the playbook, or something; and are being withheld until they get their head straight? Punishment. Example.

You gotta think that some of these guys come in and are total screw-offs.

PackerBacker's picture

The Packers would REALLY not say anything if this was true. Outside of a major leak, or the player actually saying this, there is no way we would ever find out if they failed to learn the playbook. They would just get cut.

redlights's picture

Yeah, the Pack won't say it; but it wouldn't surprise me.

Nerd's picture

Not worried about Harris. We have a ton of depth there.

I'm sickened by this deal with Moses.

This whole deal about how they lie about injuries makes me want to vomit. Does it really give them some huge advantage? Really?

Evan's picture

They're not lying so much as simply withholding info. It's frustrating, but every team does it.

madmanJack's picture

you same guys were saying the same thing about Mike Neal..injury prone bust..how'd that prediction turn out for you whiners?Don't sit there and give these lame predictions about he'll never play etc, etc, cause u don't f#$$%ING know so stfu!

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I can dig it.

GBPDAN's picture

Im sick of talking about injuries with this team

The TKstinator's picture

I vote to disallow all current and future injuries. Maybe even make it retroactive too. Somewhere Eddie Lee Ivery is smiling at my plan.

Fish . Crane's picture

I'll drop a tear
and raise a beer
to the great Eddie Lee
what a shame but get in line
to a very sad Packer time

hayward4president's picture

I read that Harris was about to close his first deal on a slightly used 09 Camaro and that's why he has been missing. 2300$ bonus if he sells it!

Hbuff's picture

Sounds like Johnson practiced today. Moses started but was pulled out after reaggrevating his injury.

As for Sherrod, have patience with him. My daughter had a similar injury playing soccer and it took two full years to be back at 100%. He probably suffered nerve damage along with the broken bones and they time to recover.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

What did he reaggravate? Glad Johnson went. The WR battle will be a good one for that 4th spot. Suprised Boykin is 100%. His injury on that huge 4th down conversion in week 17 looked like it was serious. But when it comes down to it I anticipate, none of any of these players discussed in the article or by us fans will ever play football for the Packers ever again. Hoping MAshed Potato Mike and Tinkering Ted can hire the 9ers strength and conditioning coach to get this ship/train wreck turned around. 2-14

Lou's picture

Based on your report James Starks must be participating in practice, will wonders never cease. Although his injury history goes back as far as Harrell at least he was worth a chance in the 6th round. To this day I still can't figure out the Harrell pick based on his injury history and passiveness for a defensive player. They have covered themselves if Bishop can't get back to normal, Sherrod looks like the longest shot at returning, he was the proto-type LT when drafted and his wonderlic score was off the charts. I to this day can't believe McCarthy would not comment on Worthy's injury when it happened or shortly after wards and where did the "bruise" story came from, in the NFL today those things are not supposed to happen with all of the rules that apply. If House is healthy they have a keeper at CB, a young Al Harris. Worthy probably stays on PUP all year, he under achieved, Daniels looks like the better player right now and he is projected as a reserve. Moses over achieved but now has some athletic competition for a backup spot when he returns. The WR's are already getting pub like Borel and Gurley based on measurables, time to relax guys.

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