The Green Bay Packers will start training camp on Friday without the services of oft-injured defensive lineman Mike Neal.
According to the NFL's transaction report, the 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive lineman was one of seven who failed his physical on Thursday and placed on the physically unable to perform list.
The Packers also placed offensive linemen Derek Sherrod (broken leg) and J.C. Tretter (broken ankle), running back DuJuan Harris (surgery to remove a cyst), defensive lineman Jerel Worthy (knee surgery), and safeties Sean Richardson (neck surgery) and Chaz Powell (unknown).
Neal, 26, was the biggest surprise of the group after being a full participant during the offseason program, rotating in with both the defensive line and outside linebackers throughout.
A second-round pick in 2010, Neal saw action in only nine of a possible 32 games during his first two NFL seasons due to a plethora of injuries. Last year, he enjoyed most successful professional campaign with 11 tackles and leading the defensive line with 4 ˝ sacks but was suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Harris, the diminutive but explosive scat back who was the face of the Packers’ run game late last season, hinted that he’d be back in time for camp after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst compressed against his lung prior to June’s mini-camp.
There was hope inside the organization Sherrod would be back in time for camp after undergoing a second surgery on the right leg he broke near the end of his rookie season in 2011, but he’ll start camp on the same PUP list he finished last season.
During training camp, players can be activated from the PUP list at any time. Once they’re activated, however, they’re not able to return to PUP. If a player cannot make it off the PUP list during the preseason, they’re eligible for the regular-season PUP list, which requires players to miss the first six games before they can start practicing with the team.
Furthermore, inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore was placed on the non-football illness list, which could open the door for second-year linebacker Terrell Manning behind starter Brad Jones.