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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.