Each Wednesday, Weston Hodkiewicz provides an inside look at the Green Bay Packers in his Walkthrough blog post.
Seventeen months after his fifth-round selection, Jared Abbrederis has finally arrived on the Green Bay Packers’ active roster.
Now, it’s up to the team to determine how exactly the Wautoma native — a fan favorite from his days at the University of Wisconsin — fits on their roster.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver was active for his first NFL game on Sunday, but didn’t play. The Packers promoted him after Davante Adams was downgraded to doubtful from questionable with a sprained ankle. His return will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
Abbrederis missed all of last season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the first week of training camp. He returned in time for the offseason program, but missed a month after sustaining a concussion during his first practice of training camp.
He returned in time for the preseason finale against Kansas City, catching one pass for six yards. Although he didn’t make the first 53-man roster, the coaching staff has been impressed by what it’s seen from Abbrederis on the practice squad, particularly of late.
“He’s had two phenomenal practice weeks,” said offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, who was Abbrederis' receivers coach last season. “The timing was right and coach (Mike McCarthy) and (general manager) Ted (Thompson) made the decision to bring him and we’re certainly excited about it.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers seems to be high on Abbrederis, often crediting him for how quickly he’s picked up the Packers’ complicated offensive playbook. The Packers may need to lean on rookie Ty Montgomery, second-year man Jeff Janis and Abbrederis if Adams is forced to miss any extended time.
Abbrederis also offers special-teams depth as a punt returner behind Micah Hyde. That’s where he made his biggest impact in the preseason finale against New Orleans, returning three punts for 35 yards. Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook believes he could help in other ways, as well.
“There’s no question he can be a returner,” Zook said. “He’s a quick guy and a fast guy. He hasn’t had a lot of work as a gunner or as a hold-up guy but we’ll start getting him some work and try to get him up to speed.”
Abbrederis agreed to a three-year contract with the Packers upon his promotion. The non-guaranteed deal will pay him a prorated $435,000 this season as long as he’s on the active roster the rest of the year.
A few other things…
» If you didn’t catch it, Clay Matthews was among the Packers’ captains during Sunday’s 17-3 win over San Francisco. He set the tone for his performance, beginning with the pre-game photo.
» Inside linebacker Sam Barrington is out with a season-ending foot injury, but he remains active off the field.
Barrington, who was named NFLPA Community MVP last month, is among dozens of NFL players who are a part of the 2015 One Team for the Cure campaign, helping to raise awareness and funding for cancer research.
Each player has a personalized One Team for the Cure shirt for sale at One Team Shop from from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30. A portion of shirt sale proceeds will benefit the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center.