INDIANAPOLIS — Training camp is still five months away, but even that length of time likely won’t be enough for Green Bay Packers defensive end Jerel Worthy.
Worthy, who tore his ACL in the final game of the regular season, underwent knee surgery in mid-January and has a long road to recovery.
“I think training camp is definitely going to be a stretch, just because of the timing of his injury,” coach Mike McCarthy said Friday at the Combine. “Once again, he has to go through the rehab process and get healthy.”
Worthy, the first of Green Bay’s two second-round picks in 2012, did not live up to his draft position as a rookie. He recorded 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
“I like a lot of the things he did,” McCarthy said. “He brings a lot of energy. There’s a lot of things he can improve on, and I definitely think he can be one of those players who makes a jump in year two.”
There was much better news for injured Packers offensive tackle Derek Sherrod. The 2011 first-round pick broke his leg as a rookie and missed the entire 2012 season.
Fourteen months after the gruesome injury, however, Sherrod is almost fully recovered.
“Sherrod is there every day; I see him in the training room every single day,” McCarthy said. “The surgery he feels is a success and what he needed. As far as a timetable, I haven’t done very well trying to speculate on when guys are coming back or not, but I hope he can work during the OTAs.”
The OTAs (offseason training activities) aren’t officially scheduled yet, but those workout sessions will likely take place in late May.
With Sherrod set to return, he likely will challenge incumbent starter Marshall Newhouse for the starting left tackle position. Sherrod’s return to full health and recent positive progress will also lessen the immediate need for Packers general manager Ted Thompson to address the team’s offensive tackle spot in the upcoming draft.
“I still have a lot of confidence that when (Sherrod) does have the opportunity, he’ll be a productive player for us,” McCarthy said.