Notebook: Goodson on fast track back after gruesome knee injury

Michael Cohen
Green Bay Press-Gazette
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Green Bay Packers cornerback Demetri Goodson (39) works out during the team's organized team activities (OTA) Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

GREEN BAY - As the healthy members of the Green Bay Packers strapped on their helmets for another day of work, cornerback Demetri Goodson and center Corey Linsley worked with a trainer on the opposite end of the field. They ran and backpedaled and zipped through a speed ladder as the rest of their teammates moved through drills.

For Goodson, the progress was particularly impressive given the shocking nature of his injury last fall. He tore his ACL in gruesome fashion during a loss to Washington on Nov. 20, and roughly six months after surgery the knee is progressing ahead of schedule.

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In fact, Goodson said the medical staff has discussed a potential return around the middle of training camp in August.

“I’ve been healing really, really fast,” Goodson said Tuesday. “I’m only like six months out. But I’m doing really good though, man, really good. It feels great.

“I thought it would be a longer process than what it’s been. I feel great. It’s more so the time frame is just letting everything heal. Right now I’m sprinting and cutting and doing backpedal drills and all that stuff.”

Goodson will join a crowded — albeit unproven — cornerback room if and when he is able to return without restrictions. There is legitimate competition from the top of the depth chart all the way to the sixth corner, and it’s possible the jostling for spots will extend into the regular season.

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But as has been the case throughout his career, Goodson’s greatest value is his special-teams ability, and coordinator Ron Zook routinely praised his toughness before the injury. Goodson is more reliable and experienced as a gunner/hold-up man than teammates Josh Hawkins, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, who were unimpressive in their efforts to replace Goodson last year.

“Probably the middle of training camp I’ll be back,” Goodson said. “It’s going fast. … I’m not trying to rush. Everything has been going great. Haven’t had any problems or anything like that.”

Center of attention

The Packers made a roster move Tuesday that reflects their trust in offensive linemen Don Barclay and Kofi Amichia as viable backup centers.

General manager Ted Thompson made the decision to release Jacob Flores, the only true center on the roster aside from starter Corey Linsley, and replace him with offensive tackle Robert Leff of Auburn.

The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Leff originally signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent May 1. He was released on June 2 and signed with the Packers four days later.

Leff started all 13 games at right tackle during his senior year at Auburn and earned all-conference honors from multiple media outlets.

Attendance report

Wide receiver Trevor Davis, cornerback Kevin King and linebacker Josh Letuligasenoa were not at practice Tuesday.

King and Letuligasenoa are unable to join the Packers until their respective colleges finish with final exams. It’s likely both players will be at minicamp next week.

Davis appeared to have travel issues on his way back to Green Bay and did not return in time to take the field.

CB Herb Waters, CB David Rivers, OLB Vince Biegel and center Corey Linsley did not practice due to injury.

Defensive tackle Izaah Lunsford, an undrafted rookie, dropped out of practice with what appeared to be a leg injury.

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