Packers' injury woes continue
MIlwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY--The Green Bay Packers are trying to do without.
It’s a familiar predicament for them. But injuries are piling up at the offensive skill positions and in many cases to players who need training camp to assure themselves of a roster spot. It has spread from rookies to veterans and sidelined starters and backups alike.
The latest big news was that two of the Packers’ top three wide receivers were somewhere other than where they were supposed to be.
Jordy Nelson was recovering from a surgical procedure on his knee and has been declared out for the rest of training camp. Randall Cobb was on the sideline with a bag of ice on his arm after leaving practice with a biceps injury, the seriousness of which hasn’t been revealed.
Nelson’s surgery was to clear up a lingering problem and done with the intention of having him ready for the start of the regular season. He probably could not have waited any longer for the fix without having to sacrifice at least the season opener.
“Fortunately with Jordy, his particular thing that we had to go and fix is something that we have some experience with with some other guys here,” general manager Ted Thompson said. “So we think we can predict about the way it’ll go, but you never know.”
Neither Thompson nor coach Mike McCarthy was specific on what was ailing Nelson. His agent, Vann McElroy, did not return a phone message seeking comment. NFL.com reported it was a minor issue Nelson has been dealing with since his days at Kansas State.
Nelson ruptured a bursa sac in a knee in Super Bowl XLV and missed all but a handful of plays against Minnesota on Dec. 2 because of a knee injury, but has not suffered anything that kept him out for an extended period of time. The Packers are hoping this surgery ends any trouble he has been having with it.
“Our hope is for Jordy to be ready for the season opener at San Francisco,” McCarthy said.
On the same day Nelson’s surgery was announced, Cobb dropped out of practice during a team drill. Cobb had an ice bag near his shoulder area but stuck around and spent time during and after practice running sprints.
McCarthy offered no more information on Cobb, but there’s no question he was keeping his fingers crossed it was a minor injury.
Missing two of their top three receivers would be more of a problem if this were Sept. 6 instead of Aug. 6, but it is a recurring theme for the Packers. They have already lost free-agent receiver Sederrik Cunningham to a season-ending wrist injury and are waiting for seventh-round receivers Charles Johnson (knee) and Kevin Dorsey (hamstring) to get back on the field. Both were hurt on the second day of practice.
“It’s kind of weird that I was hurt and he was hurt at the same time,” Johnson said. “I mean, it’s real frustrating. I played all (through) college football and high school football and never missed a practice for injury.”
Johnson said he ran Tuesday but still needs to improve range of motion in the joint before he’ll be cleared. He said there was no way to put a timetable on it.
Dorsey was not available for comment, but he too has had to be patient with an injury he originally said would keep him out two days.
Both men are top-flight athletes with good size. By now the Packers would have an idea of what they had were both of them healthy.
“We’re anxious to see (them), Thompson said. “It makes it difficult for everybody, difficult for them, it makes it difficult for us.”
At running back, Alex Green joined DuJuan Harris (knee) on the injury list, sitting out practice after his surgically repaired left knee flared up. Green can’t afford to lose ground to James Starks, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, all of whom are gaining favor with the offensive coaches.
“It’s something that really flared up yesterday,” McCarthy said of Green, who had a solid performance in the intrasquad scrimmage. “We know his history with the knee, and it’s something he has to battle.”
Green never was the same back last year after suffering a torn ACL as a rookie and was shut down at the end of the season because of a loss of strength in his knee.
At tight end, Ryan Taylor (knee) joined Andrew Quarless (thigh) on the sideline after getting hurt in the scrimmage. Taylor was hit from behind while covering a punt and got his left leg pinned under a player.
McCarthy said Taylor’s status is week-to-week.
Quarless is trying to get back into form after missing all of last season with two torn ligaments in his right knee. He said he had been pushing hard in practice and probably didn’t stretch adequately beforehand.
He didn’t think this injury was related to his knee.
“I feel so strong, but it’s something that just got tight,” Quarless said. “I’m leaving it up to them. When they give me the green light, I’ll go.”
Of the 17 players who were not practicing or were knocked out Tuesday, seven began camp on the physically unable to perform list. That means in nine practices, the Packers have lost 10 players. A year ago there were 11 sidelined after nine practices. The real test lies in the preseason games. Those four weeks were devastating to the Packers last year.