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Hoping for the Best From Kevin King in 2019

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Hoping for the Best From Kevin King in 2019

Kevin King was back on the practice field last week during OTAs after the Packers first pick of the 2017 draft was out for last month’s minicamp with a hamstring injury. At this point, it’s hard not to let out a half-hearted chuckle when a guy with maybe the worst luck with injuries returns to the team unable to practice after months away from football. King has finished each of his first two seasons on injured reserve with significant injuries and a third could be a nail in the coffin for his time in Green Bay. Missing over half your games can do that to a player. 

Despite the injuries, it doesn’t make sense to give up on King just yet considering his physical traits what he’s been able to accomplish in limited action. He showed real grit as a rookie lining up across from Julio Jones and popping running back Ezekiel Elliot for a four-yard loss on a swing pass. We knew he would pose matchup problems with his 6-3 height and 4.4 speed but his pad-popping tackes have been a pleasant surprise.  

Last year, the highlight of his season came in an ugly week six game against the 49ers. After clawing their way back, the Packers tied the game with less than two minutes remaining. King came up huge on third down with just over a minute left hauling in a game-changing interception intended for a speedy Marquise Goodwin. 

It felt like a breakthrough moment for King but a hamstring injury sidelined him from week 10 to week 13. Following Green Bay’s loss to the Cardinals, there was really no point in sending King out the remainder of the season and he was subsequently shelved for good a few days later.

Given the circumstances surrounding his availabilty, King has been an easy target for fans. That and he will probably forever be compared to TJ Watt who was selected the very next pick after the Packers traded their 2017 first rounder to the Browns. Watt has certainly outplayed King so far but there’s no way to know if Green Bay would have selected the Wisconsin product in the first place. Packers fans have always fascinated themselves with prospects from the state of Wisconsin yet former GM Ted Thompson rarely looked close to home when it came to the draft anyway.

To be quite honest anyone’s dissatisfaction with King is based solely on something completely out of his control. We’ve all seen how different the defense looks with him on the field and that should still excite the fanbase moving forward. Quarterbacks are rarely throwing King’s way and when they are they are completing only 57 percent of their passes. King's length, speed, and coverage ability have shown he can be a legitimate difference maker. 

So go ahead and be mad, frustrated over injuries, and continue to gripe over passing on Watt. Those of us that have moved on recognize King’s potential and hope his bad luck with injuries have been put behind him. If so, he can help elevate the Packers defense to a new level.



Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (31) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Gman1976's picture

King has the skills, but just has to get rid of the ills. Cheering for him.

GBPDAN1's picture

He's such a boost for our D. Having King healthy for a full season would put our D at elite status. Our secondary would be loaded at CB and our new safeties are top notch. This, to go along with our much improved front 7 and the leadership of Pettine, is exciting to think about.

The shoulder's were my first worry with King. However, this hamstring issue that popped up last year and now this off season is somewhat concerning, as hammys can be tricky. Here's hoping that King kicks the injury bug! What a great asset he is when playing on game day healthy

Old School's picture

We’re a better defense with him on the field, but he’s missed a lot of games in the last two years. So have Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Bryan Bulaga. It’s a rough game..

Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

Qoojo's picture

Some player's bodies just can't hold up to the pro game. It's no slight on them as it's an extremely rough sport. It is too early to give up on him. This year will signal if he was unlucky, or constant trend.

Archie's picture

King is built like a snake i.e., very narrow. Love the talent & heart but both his shoulders are pretty much destroyed. Every time he hits somebody, you have to cringe for his well-being.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Yes. Very talented but very brittle.

Would be a 1st team All-Pro in the NFFL (National Flag Football League).

Archie's picture

Josh Jones was another TT mistake. He's dumb as a rock. I doubt you can get a ham sandwich for this guy.

fastmoving's picture

but still smarter than you
....and I would guess 25 times better athlet. But I could be wrong and its more likely 50 times.

Gort's picture

I think Archie's comment is in the wrong post.

"The Packers Don't Need Josh Jones
By David Michalski on May 22, 2019."

Day late and a dollar short.

fastmoving's picture

Dont know, I thought he tried to say…….."and JJ is another misstake".
But for me it was more about the way he said it and the words he used.

Other than that the last years showed us that you dont have to be smart to make it big, unforntunately. But actually I doubt he knows something meaningfull about JJ state of mind.

Lare's picture

I like King but as Brandon says a third season of injury "could be a nail in the coffin for his time in Green Bay."

There are lots of ex-NFL players that are working other jobs because their bodies couldn't take the rigors of the game. Hopefully, King can put all that behind him and have a productive NFL career.

Mory Werner's picture

I have that horrible feeling another injury is coming--- but when I've said that in the past I'm always wrong... so...

gr7070's picture

"To be quite honest anyone’s dissatisfaction with King is based solely on something completely out of his control."

That's just laughably false.

When King has played most of the time it hasn't been very good. On the whole he's been average at best.

He has a chance to be a quality player in the NFL, if not better. However, that's mostly based on his physical; he just hasn't played all that well when he has. We get a lot of silly articles and fan comments to the contrary.

PatrickGB's picture

We shall see. Right now I am rooting for an injury free season for him and others. My expectations are that he will get some injuries and maybe miss a game or two but still be able to play most of the season and play it well. But again, we shall see. Right now my expectations are for a better and more complete season than he has had in the past.

nostradanus's picture

I hoping King does his thing and the injury bug doesn’t come to sting his injured wing.
Swing with the King!

4thand1's picture

King likes to tackle but his shoulders don't. If he sneezes the shoulder joints pop out. He can wear a brace but a brace restricts mobility. Maybe he should play like Dion and avoid a lot of contact. I'll take ints over tackles.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

We all "want" to see him succeed!
But what do you expect this year out of him?

A- <8 games
B- 8-10 games
C- 11-13 games
D- 14 or 15
E- 16+ playoffs

I got B

Rak47's picture

C,D, or E would be an improvement and a step in the right direction. I'll grudgingly accept C, be very satisfied with D, and do back flips for E.

Tundraboy's picture

Have no idea. But whatever number games I hope it includes the back half of the season, including the playoffs and even a super Bowl.

Bill Atkinson's picture

Judging by past years, C is about the best we can hope for. The shoulder was a problem for him already in college.

Ferrari Driver's picture

Hamstring injuries are debilitating and they also seem to plague the same players repeatedly. I remember when Clay Mathews had to battle them and they certainly cut down his overall effectiveness during his outstanding career in Green Bay. Let's hope that Kevin King is done with them.

Jonathan Spader's picture

My hope is that Kevin King is like Casey Hayward with a different end result. We have a guy who has shown talent and then hardly played due to injury. Sign him to a low contract if he doesn't break out this year. Hope that he stays healthy and can turn into an all pro. If he's cut and goes on to succeed elsewhere then fans will just complain that Hyde, Hayward, and King were let go. Here's hoping if King does have a break out year he doesn't turn into the next Nick Perry.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

King has only played 686 snaps over two seasons. GR7070 is correct that King had been up and down at best, but has the talent to be a good CB. PFF has graded him in the fifties each year. However, he did play while injured.

He's played enough snaps to be over the rookie thing. GB's defense would get a nice infusion of talent if he can stay healthy.

PAPackerbacker's picture

King is a dynamic layer but injuries have plagued him his first couple of seasons. If he continues getting injured and missing games I think this could be his last season as a Green Bay Packer. I hope he can stay healthy and remain a Packer for the long term. He has much to offer, but not from the IR list. Wishing him good health and great success in the 2019 season.

Rossonero's picture

This year is a make or break year for King if he actually wants to make a case to be re-signed in 2021.

Watching TJ Watt turn into a core player for the Steelers when we could've had him will be a little more palatible if King pans out.

ReaganRulz's picture

I don’t know....with his track record of injuries, maybe King should not be played full time. Kinda like AJones. Play them enough to benefit from their talents, but reduce the chance of injuries. Do this for a year and then re-evaluate.

IceBowl's picture

Come on folks, players get injured. Hard to play with one leg or arm.

All sports and at all levels.

Let's see what he does now. Hopefully he put in extensive training to build himself up.

wildbill's picture

With King’s Injury’s in the past it really surprised me that we didn’t keep Breeland. For the money he signed for it would seem to have been good insurance for any of our dbs getting injured. You can never have too much talent at that position with all the nickel and dime formations we use and he seemed to play well last year, although he missed some games too

flackcatcher's picture

Breeland's age and serious injury history made resigning him a high risk for this team. It's all about the trade offs. Packers can keep T. Williams for a lower cap number or sign Breeland knowing that your signing what amounts to starters pay for a player who may play only half a season with his history. Playoff teams take the risk. The Packers are rebuilding and may not consider themselves to be in the Superbowl hunt this year. Me, I would sign him despite the risk. But I'm not IAMGUTE, so I don't have to worry about that stuff.

Bryan Chisholm's picture

We had a different defense with King on the field, and he was almost never 100% when he was. The 1st half of the 2nd week against the Vikings is a good example. King and Alexander were tight in coverage and aggressive. I personally feel like the 3rd year may be the charm for King with his injuries, colliding with a 3rd year pro coming into his own, and beneffiting from a much improved defense.. this could be the year he soothes the sting from passing on Watt.. or completely erases it..

Mark S's picture

He's clearly one of they keys to this becoming a truly elite unit

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