The early diagnosis is promising for Green Bay Packers rookie tight end Colt Lyerla, who is undergoing tests Sunday for a knee injury he sustained during Saturday's Family Night practice.
Lyerla's agent, Vinnie Porter, said the initial belief is that it's only a knee sprain, though they are awaiting a scheduled MRI to confirm.
After confirming rookie receiver Jared Abbrederis' torn anterior cruciate ligament Saturday morning, there was fear Lyerla might have suffered a significant injury of his own after being carted off and not returning Saturday.
The injury occurred when Lyerla caught a short bootleg pass from Matt Flynn and tried to hurdle cornerback Jumal Rolle. He nearly cleared Rolle, who caught Lyerla's extended right leg as he stood up.
If it tests confirm it's only a sprain, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound tight end should have a chance to return to the field before the end of the preseason and continue his bid for a spot on the team's 53-man roster.
Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty recap the highlights of this year's Packers Family Night practice at Lambeau Field. (Aug. 2, 2014)
Lyerla, who went undrafted in May after a series of off-the-field incidents, was off to a slow start in training camp, but had two touchdown catches during a red-zone period on Friday. Although coach Mike McCarthy said practice wasn't the correct time to hurdle a defender, Lyerla showed his natural athleticism in vaulting the nearly 6-foot Rolle.
After leaving the University of Oregon football team in October, Lyerla admitted on Saturday walking into Lambeau Field with a record 67,336 in attendance for Family Night was awe-inspiring.
"It was pretty amazing for me because there was a point in time where I didn't know if I'd ever be able to do that again," Lyerla said. "I could have been the happiest person out there just being able to play in front of a crowd that big."
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