This is an update to a post here at Cheesehead TV from June 3. Some of it is verbatim while other parts have been updated based upon available information.
Green Bay Packers players reported to training camp on Thursday July 25 and physicals started taking place at 6:00 a.m. CT.
After a layoff that lasted more than a month following the end of the offseason program in mid-June and the start of training camp in late July, some players nursing injuries will be ready to return to the practice field.
Others not so fortunate may be forced to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Here’s a look at the players who have been dealing with offseason injuries…
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 divulged during the NFL Draft that Sherrod underwent a second surgery on his leg, which prevented him from practicing in the offseason program.
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. We’ll find out more shortly.
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 later 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 proclaimed to the media 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. 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 practiced sparingly since sessions started to be open to the public in May. He hasn’t talked to the media since OTAs began, but he was spotted with ice on calf and shin area of his right leg.
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: With little being said about Moses’ ailment, it’s not likely to be serious. It would be surprise if he isn’t ready for the starting of training camp.
The injury: A non-cancerous cyst the size of a softball was surgically removed from Harris’ right lung this spring when it was discovered during a routine physical. Harris missed all of the team’s offseason program.
The prognosis: Mike McCarthy said he expected back in time for training camp and Harris assured his followers on social media that he was okay. Having something removed from your chest cavity is no small matter, but seeing as it was non-cancerous, Harris is likely to make a full recovery.
ETA: From all indications, Harris will be ready to go for the start of training camp. There’s even hope that the increased lung capacity will give Harris more endurance and make him a better player.
The injury: After taking part in the team’s rookie orientation camp, Johnson practiced only briefly during the team’s offseason program. He did not meet with the media, and his injury is unknown.
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 wasn’t being pushed by Johnson this offseason.
ETA: Seeing as Johnson at least took part in practice a little bit during minicamp, his injury probably isn’t serious and after a month-plus layoff, he should be ready to go for training camp.
The injury: Dorsey was in a very similar situation 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. The summertime layoff should have helped.
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.