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Notebook: Bigby To Have Ankle Surgery

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Notebook: Bigby To Have Ankle Surgery

GREEN BAY – Safety Atari Bigby will have ankle surgery tomorrow in North Carolina according to several reports from Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy's post-practice press conference on Thursday morning. Bigby wasn't present at practice on Tuesday when he originally traveled to see Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina for a consultation. He returned in time for Thursday's a.m. practice but didn't take part.

Bigby was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list last week when he failed a conditioning test. Bigby later said he aggravated the ankle during the test itself.

The injury dates back to the 2008 season when Bigby originally hurt the ankle and went through the entire year with other nagging shoulder and knee injuries. Bigby also indicated after the '08 season that his injuries may have been worse than either he or the team let on.

The extent of recovery time is as of yet unknown, but it appears as if Bigby will start off the regular season on the PUP list, which would force him to miss the first six games of the 2010 season. Season-ending injured reserve is a possibility, but it looks to be too early to tell.

Bigby was a restricted free agent this offseason and chose not not to sign his tender until right before training camp, the only Packer to choose to go that route, and only among a handful in the entire NFL. The Packers chose to reduce Bigby's tender to 110% of his '09 salary, allowed by NFL rules, when he didn't sign his original second-round tender offer by June 15.

Had Bigby signed his tender in time for the Packers' offseason program, it's possible the Packers could have determined the extent of his injury months earlier. Although, McCarthy appeared not to speculate on that possibility. It's hard to gauge how much damage was done during the conditioning test itself.

"Bigby said the surgery is a scope, not the microfracture procedure he had 2 years ago," reports Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Twitter.

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote on Twitter that Bigby doesn't expect the injury to be season ending.

Switching positions: Second-year outside linebacker Brad Jones returned to practice today after taking a helmet to the back this past weekend and recuperated for a couple practices, but he was taking reps on the right hand side of the defensive formation.

All last season and all offseason, Jones had been on the left outside linebacker with Clay Matthews on the right side. But since Jones injured his back during training camp, Matthews has primarily been practicing over on the left side.

Brandon Chillar had been practicing in Jones' place at outside linebacker, but Jones was inserted back into the first-string upon his return, albeit on the right-hand side.

Brady Poppinga continued to back up Matthews on the left side.

Behind the 8-ball: All veterans of six NFL seasons and over were given the morning practice off. That included starting offensive linemen Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher and Scott Wells.

In their place, the offensive line from left to right this morning consisted of Bryan Bulaga, Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz, Josh Sitton and Breno Giacomini.

T.J. Lang, considered by some to be one of the better offensive linemen on the team, was relegated to the second-team right tackle behind Giacomini. It stands to reason that Lang would be the second-string right guard behind Sitton, but Sitton was present at practice and has been very reliable from a health standpoint over the course of his young career.

For a guy that could be among the top five offensive linemen on the team, Lang is not getting as many opportunities as other offensive linemen on the team.

Lang admitted that he may have been a little bit hesitant with his surgically repaired wrist following the first practice of training camp but has had no limitations during practice.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Austin Auch's picture

One thing is for sure and that is TT made all the right moves in the draft.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Yeah, taking Jerry Hughes over Bulaga was the right move for this season... wait, DAMNIT.

PackersRS's picture

You know how I felt about Huges, but Bulaga was as much as a no-brainer as there is.

Chances are Clifton will be done next year. Would you really want a rookie protecting Rodgers' blind side? We can do by with Jones at OLB. We absolutely can't with Flynn at QB.

To me, there's the big 4 of the NFL positions: QB, pass rusher, LT, CB. In that order.

Qb of the future: Rodgers. Check
Pass Rusher of the future: Clay Matthews. Check
LT of the future: With Bulaga. Check. Without him...

The CB of the near future is Woodson. And we may have something with Lee and Williams. But I don't know. To me, should be the focus of next year's draft...

FITZCORE1252's picture

Totally hear you. Bulaga was the pick, but no doubt in my mind Jerry would have played a much larger role 'this season'. But, you draft for the future, BB was the pick. I can't argue that.


sammer's picture

"All last season and all offseason, Jones had been on the left outside linebacker with Clay Matthews on the right side. But since Jones injured his back during training camp, Matthews has primarily been practicing over on the right side."

I believe you mean "Matthews ... primarily been practicing over on the *left* side."

FITZCORE1252's picture

Depth at Safety and OLB is disconcerting to say the least. Not shocked though, I was never counting on bigby to be available.


RockinRodgers's picture

Our safety depth is looking a little thin. Who's after Collins, Burnette and Bigby?

PackersRS's picture

Peprah. Martin. And Blackmon.


CSS's picture

Matt Bowen (NFP)observations from camp on Packer rookies:


PackersRS's picture
CSS's picture

Banks says in the article:

"Bulaga's job this season is to fill the swing-tackle role backing up both of those 11-year vets....."

Ugh, did I miss something about Bulaga backing up BOTH tackle spots or is Banks completely making this up?!?

PackersRS's picture

Making up.

But, then again, I don't think the Packers will go with both Bulaga and Giacomini during gameday. How many linemen do they take with the 45, usually?

Asshalo's picture

He's making it up, but it's a reasonable assumption that a first round left tackle-caliber talent would be high on the depth chart for either tackle position. I don't know how literal McCarthy was about trying to develop him at LT, but I wouldn't think a stint at RT would be all that damaging if not a stepping stone.

Asshalo's picture

At least the team and coaches are more prepared for Bigby and Harris sitting out due to injury. Bigby said the scope would leave him out 4 weeks. So hopefully worst case scenario he is on PUP to start the season and back in action by week 7.

Asshalo's picture

Also, at least Burnett is there for depth as well. Sure he doesn't have the sense of a veteran but he's proven to be a ball hawk and somewhat of a hard hitter in college in addition to having a solid off-season.

Bearmeat's picture

Why have we not pursued or kept middle level FA talent? This is the reason this team hasn't won a Super Bowl under Thompson... I understand relying on the draft for 90% of your team, but can anyone think what a difference Anthony Smith, Brian Dawkins, Antonio Cromartie, OJ Atogwe, Lito Sheppard, Jason Taylor or Adalius Thomas would make to our depth?
We'd be celebrating in Green Bay before the season started!
This IMHO is why TT is a good GM, but not in the caliber of Belichick or Ron Wolf.
Ps - in the immortal words of Alex Tallitsch: ATARI BIGBY - YOU SUCK!

CSS's picture

Anthony Smith - Couldn't crack the starting lineup for the talent deficient Rams, Pittsburgh made no effort to retain him.

Brian Dawkins - 37 years old this year. While a 'leader' his play really has declined as the season rolls on. Overrated in coverage.

Antonio Cromartie - AFC West Blogger (Bill Williamson) and Matt Williamson (Scouts Inc.) both dared anybody to watch his tape any of the last two (2) years and show where he covered anybody, ANYBODY.

OJ Atogwe - Was never a free agent, wasn't going anywhere.

Lito Sheppard - Benefits from a good D-Line, overrated in coverage and he plays corner.

In general, this list is grossly overrated. The problem with recent free agency leading up to the CBA, it's sucked.

Adalius Thomas/Shawn Merriman, washed up.

Bearmeat's picture

I'm not stating these players are probowl caliber. (Some of them never were) BUT, gaining depth from FA is not a bad idea. Notice I didn't say "sign Albert Haynesworth!"
I remember one Desmond Howard who was once considered "washed up" before Ron Wolf gambled on him. I remember one "Andre Rison" - same story... I think those two players ended up making key contributions on our team in 1996...
My point is that our depth at OLB and S this year is going to kill us, unless we get lucky and stay injury free or someone comes off the depth chart and plays lights out. (Not horribly likely).
If TT would occasionally dip into FA for DEPTH purposes, it WOULD really benefit the team. But he won't. For better or worse, he's ridiculously stubborn.

CSS's picture

Cherrypicking past success leaves out a laundry list of FA's that completely flop and constitute the majority.

The criticism in general of TT's philosophy is by no means out of bounds, it has some merit. That being said, it gets old when casual fans march out brand names they recognize and claim they would be upgrades to the depth without having ever seen them play (no, I'm not calling you out...isn't intended that way).

Cromartie is the perfect example. Packer fans recognize his name and were calling for his acquisition. He could never tackle and has been just aweful for 2 years. Here's the kicker - teams (Jets in this case) paid a PREMIUM for his mediocrity to acquire him. Pay for the level of talent (Woodson) not the name brand (Cromartie).

The FA's out there have stunk for the price tag. When so little is available the prices go WAY up and it doesn't match the productivity. Stay out of the FA market unless you find a reasonable deal.

Cole's picture

I wish someone would saw Drew Rosenhauses head off. Guy is a cancer on the league. If bigby would've shown up on time he could've been almost healed by now.

bomdad's picture

Take solace that with Bigby's cut in pay, Drew took one too.

jeremy's picture

I wish you were right...

Drew lost about $2700, I'm really doubt he totally regrets his tactics and is currently reflecting on the negative impact his agency has on the NFL.

Cole's picture

Any chance Harris could play safety if needed to?

Brian Carriveau's picture

Woodson would be the more likely choice. He's done it in the past, but I don't think they want to go down that road again.

bomdad's picture

If Al is capable of playing, he stays at corner or nickel. Woodson would move to safety in a real pinch. But even last year they took guys off the street before making that move.

PackersRS's picture

Woodson played Safety in 08. That didn't work.

I'm not saying he can't play Safety if he's moved there permanently, or that he can't, in some plays, fill the role of safety, like he did with Capers last year. But he can't be a starting S for a game or two.

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