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Biegel, King Face Similar Challenges

While the five-plus year veterans enjoy an extra week off, the young guys on the Packers’ roster have one last week of prep in Green Bay before the real fun begins next month.

Two players—33rd overall pick Kevin King and fourth-rounder Vince Biegel—have been absent from the action on the practice field, though for different reasons. While King was barred from attending the first two weeks of OTAs due to classes still being in session at Washington, Biegel has been spending his time at the facility rehabbing after undergoing foot surgery last month.

On Tuesday, King told the media he was able to keep up as best he could through phone calls and video conferences with position coach Joe Whitt. Unfortunately for King, his absence resulted in limited work when he returned to the practice field this week. The rookie corner participated in individual drills but was held out of the team work, with Mike McCarthy saying he “doesn’t think it’s smart” to throw a player back into the fire after a layoff like King had.

I certainly understand where the head coach is coming from with that comment, as it probably isn’t reasonable to expect a rookie to play within a unit after being only mildly familiarized with how things work in Green Bay at rookie orientation last week. The bigger question, to me, is what kind of value do you associate with the reps King missed out on during the installation portion of OTAs over the past two weeks? Enough to think he’ll be a step behind when training camp starts, or not enough to make a tangible difference?

In Biegel’s case, McCarthy may have tipped his hand on Tuesday as it relates to the rookie linebacker’s timetable to return to the practice field.

When asked about Biegel’s status, McCarthy said, “He’ll be ready to go hopefully in training camp.”

Of course, the concerning words here are “hopefully” and “in.” Is there reason to think Biegel’s foot rehab is going to take longer than originally thought? Why didn’t McCarthy say “BY training camp?” Is this a silly question of semantics?

In all honesty, it’s probably the last option. But that doesn’t change that fact that Biegel, too, has missed out on a ton of reps he could have had if healthy. Particularly at a position where there is playing time to be earned, Biegel was set to begin behind the eight ball to begin with. His chances at making an early impact on the 2017 season will only dwindle if he’s forced to miss any portion of training camp as well.

Both King and Biegel were drafted with the hope they could contribute immediately in two areas the Packers desperately need to improve over last season. With both playing catch up on the field, is it fair to wonder if it will take them longer to find their footing at the NFL level?

King obviously recognizes the challenge ahead of him. “Other guys have been here, and other guys have been working for the same opportunities. I haven’t shown anything yet for me to just come in here and be a day one starter just like that.”

Sure, it’s what you’d probably expect a self-aware rookie to say, but it’s still encouraging to hear King acknowledge his current situation as it relates to the ultra-competitive position group he’s now a part of. If he’s going to overtake the veterans in the room, that kind of work-oriented thinking will serve him well.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Savage57's picture

Good thing the Packers drafted this guy, and not a huge injury risk like TJ Watt.

Savage57's picture

Good thing the Packers drafted this guy, and not a huge injury risk like TJ Watt.

Since '61's picture

Beigel will ready when he's ready. The most important thing is that he allows his injury to heal completely. DPF is correct, for whatever reason this bone can be very difficult to heal and it may take a while before Beigel can go 100%. We have 4-5 weeks before TC so he may be close by the time TC begins. As for him and King being set back by missing the OTA's, it would be better if they could be there but it's not that big of a deal, this is football not brain surgery or rocket science. Regardless of how many reps you have during OTA's or pre-season nothing matters until a player is on then field for snaps in a regular NFL season game. That's where you gain experience that matters, in real games, not playing against guys who will most likely be cut in a few weeks and probably out of the league. A player can work on their technique during their preseason snaps but the experience that means anything comes from regular season action. I remain optimistic that both Beigel and King will be ready to contribute by week 1 of the regular season. Thanks, Since '61

LayingTheLawe's picture

Some people seem to get really lost out there. Maybe for these people it is Rocket Surgery - a combination of Rocket Science and Brain Surgery thus making it even more difficult.

holmesmd's picture

The issue isn't as much that "the bone is difficult to heal". The issue is that the 5th metatarsal is structurally the most vulnerable one due to having the least mechanical support. The analogy in the hand is a "Boxers fracture", or fracture of the 5th metaCARPAL. Moving medial to lateral from either the thumb or the big toe, there is a decreasing tolerance for absorbing axial loads. It has to do with the architecture of the hand & foot and their supporting structures, not with blood flow or the ability to heal. A repaired Jones fracture is susceptible to re- fracture for the same reasons it was in the first place. So yes, extra time & caution is warranted to COMPLETELY heal the fracture repair due to the nature of its original vulnerability.

Handsback's picture

The problem with Beigel not getting reps and learning the system is he also isn't getting into football shape. So even IF he starts TC, he'll do so w/o being in shape. Sort of like TCs of up to the 2000s, where TC was a place that everyone used to get into shape while learning the system. Now everyone gets in shape and uses the TC to learn the system and to get tougher for the season.
I could see MM putting Beigel on PUP and if not ready on by the season opener, IR him so they can use him later in the season. For sure this will open the door to the other rookies and FAs for a possible roster spot.

PatrickGB's picture

Those foot injuries can be difficult. I have had a number of them. I was told that my frame was too small for the type of workouts I was putting them through and I needed to take my time and take a lot of it off. Biegel may have been pushing it too much. PUP makes sense. He strikes me as a guy who pushes himself. So perhaps the staff needs to protect him from himself. At least he is in the building. Watt would have been nice but that meant a loss of a great draft pick. GBP did the right thing for the long run.

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