The Green Bay Packers remain in a holding pattern with second-year receiver Jared Abbrederis, who has yet to return to practice after sustaining a concussion at the start of training camp last Thursday.
The Wautoma native and former Wisconsin walk-on quickly became a fan favorite when the Packers selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. However, his career has been hampered by injury to this point.
Abbrederis missed all of his rookie season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament early in camp a year ago. The injury limited him during the offseason program, but he passed his physical and was cleared to practice when the team returned for the start of camp last week.
Many scouts questioned the 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver's durability coming into the NFL after a series of injuries at Wisconsin, including at least one documented concussion. Abbrederis has been adamant that's the only one he suffered, but there's been speculation among draft experts that there may have been more.
All the Packers are saying at the moment is Abbrederis is making progress.
"It's unfortunate (when) anybody gets a head injury like that," receivers coach Alex Van Pelt said. "You just have to get healthy. Once he gets healthy, we'll get him back in the mix. I think he's moving forward. I saw him in the room the last few days and asked him how he's feeling. He's feeling better and all that stuff, so we should get him back out on the field."
Van Pelt says Abbrederis is "a tough guy" and taking his latest setback in stride. Whenever he's cleared to return, Abbrederis will have to make up ground fast after missing most of the installation period. Mounting injuries at the receiver position forced the Packers to sign rookie Ed Williams earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Jeff Janis continues to rotate with rookie Ty Montgomery behind Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. The second-year receiver is also getting a lot of work with the first-team units on special teams, including as a gunner on punt coverage.
Janis, a seventh-round pick in 2014, made the Packer's 53-man roster after stringing together several highlight-reel plays in camp and the preseason. In Year 2, Van Pelt wants to see him take another step.
"Just to do it on a consistent day-to-day basis," Van Pelt said. "Obviously, you see the ability, the size, the speed, but just to do it daily. Not be 85 percent. Be 98 percent every day in your assignments and your route-running techniques.
"Jeff, he came in last year. He's gotten a lot better obviously. He's productive for us in the spring. Continue to see his arrow going up. Part of that is being more consistent daily."
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