GREEN BAY, Wis. — It’s been a challenging month for Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop. Instead of preparing for the regular season, Bishop has been in the early stages of rehabilitation following the torn right hamstring he suffered in Green Bay’s preseason opener.
With Bishop on injured reserve, he had to sit high above Lambeau Field on Sunday and watch his teammates take on the San Francisco 49ers without him.
“Guys were out there fighting and I really wish I could be out there fighting the battle with them,” Bishop said Tuesday.
Bishop, who led the team in tackles and was second in sacks last season, said his recovery time is projected to be between three to six months.
A new NFL rule is that each team can designate one injured-reserve player to be re-activated midway through the season, but Bishop’s injury was too severe for that to be highly considered.
So, instead of watching film from Green Bay’s Week 1 loss to the 49ers and preparing for Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Bishop is spending his time reading books and “watching a lot of Netflix.”
Though Bishop doesn’t like to think back to the preseason game in San Diego when he suffered the injury, he remembers it well.
“I think all players have that worst fear, fearing that knee,” Bishop said. “It was a pain and a feeling I’d never felt before, and I knew it was serious. My worst fear became reality.”
Bishop, 28, talked with his backup, D.J. Smith, prior to undergoing hamstring surgery in mid-August. Smith, a second-year linebacker who performed well in limited opportunities as a rookie, was immediately elevated into the starting role upon Bishop’s diagnosis.
Bishop’s advice for Smith was simple.
“I just tell him to have fun,” Bishop said. “He’s a good player. He can make all the plays. He can do everything. So I just tell him, ‘Don’t do nothing but be yourself and have fun.’ Go out there and have fun and let everything fall into place.”