Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty recap the highlights of this year's Packers Family Night practice at Lambeau Field. (Aug. 2, 2014)
Green Bay Packers receiver Jared Abbrederis will miss his rookie season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament that occurred during Wednesday's practice.
The Wautoma native practiced Thursday because he thought he was fine, but an MRI later revealed the tear in his right knee. A surgery date hasn't been scheduled, but the recovery time is typically anywhere from 8 to 12 months.
The reason why Abbrederis was able to walk around unassisted is because there was no other structural damage aside from the ACL. There's also a chance it was only partially torn like tackle Bryan Bulaga's injury at last year's Family Night practice.
Either way, the injury still requires surgery to heal properly. The Packers drafted Abbrederis in the fifth round of May's NFL draft. He was the first University of Wisconsin product to be drafted by the team in 13 years.
"It's unfortunate. Obviously, these things happen," Abbrederis said. "You just have to look to the positives. I'm just ready to get to work, get surgery. Get it fixed up and get ready for next year."
Abbrederis was off to a promising start through the first week of training camp, and in contention for the kickoff and punt return jobs.
Wearing a sleeve over his right leg Saturday night, Abbrederis knows how difficult the rehab process can be. He broke his right femur in high school during his sophomore year.
"It's never easy having to go through surgery trying to come back, but God has a plan for everything," Abbrederis said. "It's not what I wanted, obviously. I<TH>was excited to be here in camp. I had a couple good first days. I was excited for the season. Obviously a bump in the road, but we'll come back stronger."
Packers center JC Tretter didn't play in a game his rookie season after suffering a broken ankle on the first day of organized team activities last year. He spoke with Abbrederis on Saturday morning and during the Family Night practice, offering words of encouragement.
"I was there last year and it's not an easy thing to get over," Tretter said. "I think Jared has a great head on his shoulders, so I think he'll be fine. It's going to be a mindset just like it was for me of just getting things set up and moving forward slow and steady."
Abbrederis' injury leaves Myles White, Chris Harper, Kevin Dorsey, rookie Jeff Janis, Alex Gillett and recently claimed Gerrard Sheppard vying for the fifth receiver spot.
White likely will be the one who picks up the most work in Abbrederis' spot in the slot. The second-year receiver played seven games in 2013 before a knee injury ended his rookie season.
"My focus is just stacking good days on top of each other and whatever happens, happens — I can't play GM," White said. "I can't sit there and think about this guy going down and this guy is healthy. That's taking away from being the best player I can be."
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