GREEN BAY, Wis. — As one rookie’s season ended prematurely, another rookie was finally getting his first chance. That was the case this week when the Green Bay Packers placed wide receiver Myles White on injured reserve and replaced him on the active roster with offensive lineman JC Tretter.
White partially tore his meniscus in the Packers’ Week 14 win over Atlanta after hauling in a five-yard catch and getting his foot caught in the dirt.
“I just thought he rolled up on me, kind of like a twisted ankle,” White said. “I went into the training room just to kind of get it checked out, and it ended up being a tear.”
Article continues below ...
Though it’s an injury that typically requires surgery, White will not need to go that route.
“It’s not deep enough of a tear; it’s not all the way through,” White said. “Hopefully it heals up and we take it from there.”
White was told by Green Bay’s medical staff that the injury would take between 3-4 weeks for him to get back on the field. But, with less than three weeks before the regular season is over, the Packers didn’t have time to wait for him.
“That’s what they were saying, like, ‘If this happened early season, we wouldn’t have IR’ed you,'” White said.
White went undrafted out of Louisiana Tech but signed with Green Bay as a free agent on May 10. After being among the final training-camp cuts, White joined the Packers’ practice squad two days later. White was added to the active roster on Oct. 15, the same day that Randall Cobb was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return. In 125 snaps this season, White caught nine passes for 66 yards.
“You ask me a year ago if I was going to be suited up for the Green Bay Packers, I would have told you ‘No,'” White said. “And then actually playing and playing 40-plus snaps in some games? I would have told you ‘No.’ This is not something that everybody gets to do. So, as long as I can just be here, I’m going to continue to work hard and try to play my best and hopefully I can come back and be on the 53 again (in 2014).”
Tretter’s bad-luck moment happened much sooner than White’s. Tretter broke his ankle in his first-ever practice in a Packers uniform in May during a fumble recovery drill.
“I could do that drill a million more times and it could never ever happen,” Tretter said. “Just a fluke injury, just a terrible thing to happen.”
After working his way back for nearly seven months, Tretter is healthy and was able to take White’s spot on the 53-man roster.
“I knew if there was going to be a chance for me, if there was any chance I was going to be able to do it, I would be able to do it,” Tretter said. “I knew if there was just a .001 chance of me being able to get back this year, I knew I was going to take advantage of that .001 chance. If anybody was going to be able to do it, I knew I was going to be the one to do it. Obviously I wasn’t banking on it, but I knew if I kept working my tail off, eventually it would pay off. It did, so that’s big.”
Green Bay drafted Tretter in the fourth round this year, looking to convert him from a left tackle in college at Cornell to an interior lineman in the NFL. Tretter, who was told by “the majority” of NFL teams before the draft that they’d move him inside, worked at both guard and center in Wednesday’s practice.
If an injury happens at some point throughout the rest of this season to starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith or to either of the starting guards, Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang, Tretter could jump ahead of Lane Taylor to be the first interior lineman off the bench.
“JC Tretter is on our 53-man roster, so he’s competing to play on the 46-man roster,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “We don’t carry people on the 53-man roster just to practice them. He’s done a good job. He looks good. Everybody was impressed with the progress he’s made over the three weeks.”