The Green Bay Packers saw up close and personal what can happen when a player comes back from a hamstring injury too soon.
That was the case with cornerback Casey Hayward during the preseason.
After pulling his hamstring while training on his own during the offseason, Hayward made a comeback in time for the team’s third preseason game back on Aug. 23.
Hayward played 10 snaps against the Seattle Seahawks and had to be shut down after aggravating his pre-exisiting injury. He hasn’t been back since.
As of Thursday, Hayward has already been ruled out for the Packers’ Week 3 game at the Cincinnati Bengals, and Burnett could join him.
“He’s coming along,” said head coach Mike McCarthy. “It’s not the progress I’m sure that Morgan wants. I think he’s going to be a long shot this week.”
Burnett actually went from practicing on a limited basis on Wednesday to not practicing at all on Thursday.
Rather than having a setback, it would appear the Packers have all but made up their mind on Burnett, choosing to withhold him from this Sunday’s game.
With the earliest bye week in the NFL this season, the Packers know Burnett will be able to get some extra time off and hopefully be available to face the Detroit Lions back at Lambeau Field in Week 5.
What they’ll be missing in the meantime is a reliable player in the secondary able to help bracket dangerous Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, one of the best threats in the league.
The Packers will have to get by with some combination of M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian and Chris Banjo. And with Banjo playing an increased role against Washington this past Sunday, he could be in line for even more playing time coming up.
It will be no easy task for the Packers to play on the road against one of the better teams in the AFC, but from all appearances they’ll have to persevere for one more game without two of the best players in their defensive backfield.