Rookie lineman Cole Madison still could rejoin Packers for 2018 season

Ryan Wood
Green Bay Press-Gazette
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Green Bay Packers rookie Cole Madison (61) during Organized Team Activities at Ray Nitschke Field Thursday, May 31, 2018 in in Ashwaubenon, Wis.

GREEN BAY – Rookie offensive lineman Cole Madison is expected to play football again, but Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said he doesn’t expect it to be in the near future.

Madison, a fifth-round pick out of Washington State, was designated on the did-not-report list at the start of training camp. He had yet to join the Packers as of Monday morning, and his arrival in Green Bay doesn’t appear imminent.

“He’s still dealing with a personal matter,” Gutekunst said, sticking to the same explanation used since camp opened without Madison. “We don’t expect Cole back any time soon. This will take a little time for him to deal with. We’re fully supportive of what’s going on, and that’s about really all there is to update on that.”

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Gutekunst still allowed for the possibility Madison could rejoin the Packers this season, but his window for making any contribution in 2018 is quickly closing. The rookie was with the team all through the spring, but he hasn’t participated in any padded practice reps. He’s also missed each of the Packers' eight installation practices, when the team implements its offensive and defensive playbooks.

A year ago, third-round rookie Montravius Adams and fourth-round rookie Vince Biegel missed the padded portion of training camp because of injuries. Adams cracked the 53-man roster, but he appeared in only seven games — and only one game before November. Biegel started the season on the physically unable to perform list and didn’t debut until the first game in November.

Gutekunst said the Packers could carry Madison on the did-not-report list even after the regular season starts.

“It won’t count against the roster limits,” he said.

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