Green Bay Packers: Abbrederis injury an underrated blow


The Green Bay Packers will be without wide receiver Jared Abbrederis for “several weeks” according to head coach Mike McCarthy. Abbrederis suffered a rib injury while making a pivotal 32-yard catch down the right sideline in the fourth quarter of the Green Bay Packers stunning loss to the Detroit Lions, en route to a four catch, 57-yard day.

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This injury comes at the wrong place and the wrong time, however, as Abbrederis was finally stepping into the role that general manager Ted Thompson envisioned when spending a fifth round draft pick on the former Wisconsin star. Abbrederis has never possessed the skills to flood a highlight reel, but he’s always provided steady-handed play to earn the trust of his coach and quarterback. In Green Bay, and especially with Aaron Rodgers, that trust trumps all.

“You feel bad for Jared because he had an excellent camp and was hurt there in the middle of, shoot, beginning of camp,” McCarthy told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “[He had an] excellent offseason. You know, was obviously practicing very well last year when he was injured, and obviously this is his third injury. So hopefully he can bounce back from this.”

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When watching the injury in real-time, my first fear had been another head injury to Abbrederis, which could have spelled disaster for his young career. He’s also coming off a torn ACL that cost him his entire rookie season, so the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could have been. Still, if Abbrederis didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all.

Rodgers is desperate for a downfield threat with the offense sputtering, but he’s equally in need of a chain-mover to help add any level of consistent flow to this offense. Davante Adams is becoming the target-hogging focal point of the offense but has yet to truly explode, while Randall Cobb continues to be bottled up without Jordy Nelson dragging safeties deep into coverage. James Jones is a physically limited receiver struggling to find any form of separation, while Richard Rodgers hasn’t been able to manufacture much outside of the red zone.

This helped push Abbrederis to the forefront, and on Sunday against Detroit, Rodgers began to look for him. Abbrederis hauled in what I’ll call a “trust throw” from Rodgers up the left sideline for a first down earlier in the game, and while he wasn’t breaking the contest wide open, he was offering a little diversity to the passing game. In Green Bay, they’re starving for that right now.

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The hope is that rookie Ty Montgomery can return from his ankle injury to take the spot against the Minnesota Vikings, but as the ongoing Eddie Lacy saga has shown, a skill-position player with a bum ankle isn’t always the saviour. Jeff Janis should get some more looks as well, but continues to go underused.

Given how late we are in the season, injured reserve isn’t out of the question if the Packers deem Abbrederis’ injury to be serious enough. Rookie wide receiver Ed Williams would be an option from the practice squad while tight end Andrew Quarless is due to be activated from injured reserve (designation to return) with fresh legs.