GREEN BAY, Wis. — Charlie Peprah thought he had a good chance of starting for the Green Bay Packers this season, but the 29-year-old veteran safety was released by the team Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, coach Mike McCarthy said he was waiting on more information from Peprah’s physical. Apparently, the medical results weren’t good.
Peprah, 29, did not miss any games last season but had suffered a knee injury that required a scope this offseason. He was unable to participate in any of the Packers’ offseason workouts and minicamp practices while recovering from the procedure and still rehabilitating.
Peprah started 28 games over the past two seasons in Green Bay, however, he had never actually won a starting job coming out of training camp. In 2010, he took over as a starter in Week 5 after Morgan Burnett was ruled out for the season. In 2011, Peprah started in place of Nick Collins following the season-ending neck injury Collins suffered in Week 2.
With Collins being released by the Packers earlier this offseason due to his neck injury, Peprah thought all of those snaps and opportunities in recent years would result in his winning a starting job from the onset of training camp.
“I still feel like I have so much more room to grow,” Peprah told FOXSportsWisconsin.com in May. “I still have room to improve. I’ve gotten better every season the past two seasons.
“This third year is going to be my best one yet.”
But Peprah won’t be getting the chance to prove it.
Peprah had nine solo tackles in Super Bowl XLV while earning his first championship ring. The 2006 fifth-round draft pick of the New York Giants ended up spending five seasons in Green Bay during two separate stints. The Packers initially claimed Peprah off waivers in 2006 and had him on the active roster for three seasons in very limited situations. Peprah then signed a free-agent contract with Atlanta, spending one season with the Falcons before returning to Green Bay in 2010.
The Packers are now suddenly very young and inexperienced at safety. Burnett, 23, will definitely be one of the starters, but the other spot will feature a battle between rookie Jerron McMillian — a fourth-round pick out of Maine — and second-year player, M.D. Jennings, who went undrafted in 2011.
There is also the possibility of veteran cornerback Charles Woodson switching to safety, but that would likely just be in certain defensive packages.
The Packers also released guard Grant Cook and signed guard Greg Van Roten on Wednesday afternoon.