McCarthy: LB Oren Burks' shoulder injury 'shouldn't be a long-term deal'

-- The prognosis on linebacker Oren Burks -- so far -- is a good one.

The Green Bay Packers' No. 88 overall pick suffered a shoulder injury during pre-game warm-ups prior to Friday night's game against the Oakland Raiders, but coach Mike McCarthy offered some encouraging words during his press conference Sunday afternoon.

"It shouldn't be a long-term deal," McCarthy said, saying that the result was a lot better than the team had anticipated. There's a good possibility Burks shouldn't miss an extensive amount of playing time, which is instrumental for a rookie expected to play a significant role right out of the gate.

According to Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com, Burks said his shoulder popped out while the team was warming up; something that had never happened to him before. However, he received "good evaluation and feedback" from his MRI.

The Packers already lost Jake Ryan last month, striking a tremendous blow to their run defense. That doesn't concern Burks, an ex-safety, who was drafted for his coverage ability and instinct for securing the middle of the field -- a notoriously weak spot for the Packers in recent years.

In accordance with Ryan's injury, the Packers acquired Colts linebacker Antonio Morrison on Sunday in exchange for cornerback Lenzy Pipkins. Two players who were on the roster bubbles of their respective teams, but get a chance at a fresh start in new cities.

Ahmad Thomas and Greer Martini are two outside names with heightened odds of making the 53-man roster after cut-downs.

The Packers may enter the season with four inside linebackers and also sport the services of safety Josh Jones, who can play in the box as a hybrid linebacker in run support. 

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (40)

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Jonathan Spader's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:36 pm

Here's hoping Burks is back in the field in good health ASAP. He's been one of the bright spots on defense this preseason. Love his sideline to sideline speed. Hopefully we get the injuries out of the way early and they're not the sign if more to come.

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Samson's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:42 pm

Have to wait on a 3RD round pick to actually produce before I'm too concerned about whether he's available or not. --- It's good he'll play sooner rather than later, but can he play? --- That's to be determined.

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Oppy's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:38 pm

"Whew!"
*wipes sweat from brow*

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Samson's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:41 pm

*wipes sweat from brow*

Come on. Maybe a 1st round pick but the 88th player taken in last years draft??

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Oppy's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:47 pm

Sampson,
Have you seen the Packers depth chart at ILB?
Oren Burks stepped into a massive hole and was playing beyond expectations.

Yes, I'm extremely happy it isn't a long term injury.

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Oppy's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:46 pm

In other words, I really don't care if he was drafted #1 or Mr. Irrelevant, if he was a UDFA, walk on, trade..

He was playing well at a position the Packers were extremely thin at.

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Samson's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:53 pm

His value is still to be determined --- no matter what you may think or say.

Remember --- this is still the preseason.

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Oppy's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:59 pm

I agree, and that would be no different if he were a #1 pick. :)

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Samson's picture

August 26, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Here are GBs last ten or so draft picks in the 3rd round.

http://pfref.com/tiny/7n5Q6

James Jones, Finley and Burnett were worth a 3rd round pick.
The rest ---- I doubt it.

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Oppy's picture

August 27, 2018 at 01:58 am

Just for shiggles, here's a list of the 18 or so draft picks in the 4th round since 2006.. I'd say 10 of the 18 have proven to be worth 4th round picks. Guys like Bakhtiari, Lang, Sitton, Daniels, House, Tretter, Martinez, e tc, etc.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny.fcgi?id=B7FUI

I don't make predictions on success or assess potential based on draft status, I try to watch the player on the field. If you think there's some logical reason for predicting that a 3rd round pick is more likely to fail to meet "expectations" than a 4th round pick, please explain it to me.

Acquisition method does not determine player production.
"Past performance is not an indicator of future success or failure".

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NickPerry's picture

August 27, 2018 at 06:19 am

Oppy....Lets hope first and foremost this isn't one of those "It doesn't look to serious" type injuries we're still waiting to heal up in week 6 or 7. I've heard those words before from McCarthy and have been burned by them before hoping and waiting for that player to get back from the not to serious injury.

We NEED him back for week 2 at least and at at least 99%. The thought of Cook coming out of the backfield on any LB not named Burks is scary as hell. Get healthy young man!

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Samson's picture

August 27, 2018 at 09:34 pm

Oooppy

You don't comprehend the point. -- You're wiping the sweat from your brow because a 3rd rounder who has played in two preseason games injures himself. --- Why? --- Chances are that Burks will be a BU player for some AFC team in 3 or 4 years or maybe even out of the NFL by then.

On the other hand, most Pro Bowlers are drafted in the 1st round. --- Most NFL players who have long productive careers are drafted in the 1st or 2nd round. -- Talent levels drop considerably after the first 30 to 50 players that are drafted.

Do a little research instead of just offering your off the cuff opinions.

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Oppy's picture

August 28, 2018 at 01:36 am

Samson,

All the research into probabilities of a pick succeeding or failing due to where they were drafted doesn't change the fact that it's the player's play, not where he was drafted, that is the basis of his viability in the NFL.

Any idiot would surmise that the odds of drafting a more talented player are theoretically higher in the first few rounds because you're getting first dibbs on picking from a finite group. This isn't necessarily true in practice because a great deal of talent evaluation isn't science, it's projection of growth, and talent evaluators get it wrong all the time.

I don't believe I've been insulting to you, but I'll respond in kind to your tone: If your analysis of Oren Burks is based more upon the "odds" he'd be a contributor on the field (or not) due to his draft status, rather than watching his play on the field and assessing his talent in practice and scrimmage, perhaps it's you who is offering ill-informed opinions.

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NJMagic's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:45 pm

Sorry- double post- somehow the below got posted here too...

Love this move. I think Burks is going to be a solid
to very good undersized ILB who can help patrol the middle (its 2018, about time!) BUT there is still a role for the run stuffing ILB to replace Ryan. I am going to go on record that this move will be key to stopping a late drive (or two) during the season to give Aaron a chance to get the ball back.

Will not be surprised if Lenzy shined in Indy, a much shorter climb to relevance in that secondary. Wish him best of luck- think this was probably a welcome trade by both teams... Abd both players...

AND for all those who used to criticize TT, this should be reassuring our new GM is truly always on the lookout for depth pieces. That alone is welcome news!!

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The TKstinator's picture

August 26, 2018 at 02:51 pm

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.
Don’t get so distressed.
Did I happen to mention that I’m impressed?

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 26, 2018 at 03:00 pm

Goods news. They must have taken x-rays and/or an MRI already.

Once a shoulder pops out, it is more likely to in the future. Brad Davidson, Badgers point guard had his pop out several times during his freshman year. He had it popped back in and returned to the game each time!

He had it operated on to tighten up shoulder ligaments after the season.

Hopefully this is just a freak event and Burks is ready to go in a week or two because he should be able to play fairly soon if not a structural issue in the shoulder.

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Handsback's picture

August 26, 2018 at 06:39 pm

Agree with LambeauPlain, happened to me and eventually had to get an operation. If they can keep it immobilized, then there's a chance he won't need the operation.
Mine came out when two of us were practicing double team blocks against a dummy, guy above slipped down and hit me just right.

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Lphill's picture

August 26, 2018 at 03:33 pm

Picking up Morrison is going to come up huge against the run , look at film of him . Burks will be used for passing downs , let him heal up Jones can fill in on passing plays also.

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Since'61's picture

August 26, 2018 at 04:19 pm

MM has commented that an injury is not serious in the past and the player has disappeared for weeks. I hope that is not the case this and we see Burks back on the field by week 2 or 3 of the regular season.
Thanks, Since '61

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The TKstinator's picture

August 27, 2018 at 04:00 pm

Agreed.
Except in the case of Martellus Bennett, GB is extremely conservative when it comes to injuries. ~~~~~

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Chuck Farley's picture

August 26, 2018 at 05:28 pm

Ted t never took injuries into his consideration. Other teams did. Take king, serious shoulder injuries in college, both shoulders. You have a team of these people who just happened to be available to Ted the genius. This is why the pack year in year out had an enormous amount of serious injuries compared to others

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Jonathan Spader's picture

August 26, 2018 at 09:28 pm

I'm sure the Bears and Kevin White would love to hear that. Considering they were the most injured team in the NFL in 2017. King showed potential in 2017 and could take a leap in 2018.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 27, 2018 at 08:40 am

My initial thoughts as well.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

August 26, 2018 at 05:10 pm

Burks has shown speed and closing ability. His size will get him wiped out on some plays but if the D line keeps him clean he can be a tackling machine. I hope we get to see a lot of him this year.

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NJMagic's picture

August 26, 2018 at 05:22 pm

I don't think this is in response to the shoulder injury. If anything, they view Jones as the backup (or maybe even Thomas then Jones?) Although, if THAT isn't a commentary on our second round pick last year...! I for one was all sold on Pettine getting the most of Jones athleticism, but he still seems a bit lost.

Back to Morrison- they just clearly still view a role for a thumping, old school MLB for "situation-football." It just took a bit for the preseason to shake out enough to find the right one.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

August 26, 2018 at 05:27 pm

I sure hope MM is not understating the injury to Burks. He has done so in the past. The Packers have a real gem in Oren Burks and they can ill afford to lose him due to injury. They are thin at LB and Burks filled that gap very well. Let's hope his injury is minor and he will be back sooner then later. His speed and coverage skills are much needed.

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2018 at 05:45 pm

Burks seems to agree but noted week one availability is in doubt.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 26, 2018 at 06:04 pm

That's nice. However, I wonder if week two availability is also in doubt?

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2018 at 09:21 pm

Sorry, Magic Eight Ball is not answering right now

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 26, 2018 at 06:08 pm

I should think that the trade for Antonio Morrison suggests that Greer Martini's chances of making the team just took a nosedive.

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Oppy's picture

August 26, 2018 at 08:24 pm

Upon hearing about the move, reports are Martini is shaken; not stirred.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

August 26, 2018 at 09:04 pm

<<rimshot>>

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The TKstinator's picture

August 27, 2018 at 04:01 pm

Bravo!
(Cookie deserved!)

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MITM's picture

August 26, 2018 at 09:18 pm

Mccarthy's choice of words and vagueness on the subject doesnt really make me feel much better about this injury. It "shouldnt" be a "long term thing" doesnt mean that it WONT. Also, we know his shoulder popped out because Burks said it himself - how come Mccarthy didnt elaborate on that, unless he did and theres more to the transcript than that one sentence.

Shoulder injuries are tricky especially for an ILB. Im glad that the news isnt worse dont get me wrong, but I wish we knew a little bit more.

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Lphill's picture

August 27, 2018 at 05:37 am

There is a interview with Burks on the Packers website , he is in a t shirt , very up beat does not seemed overly concerned , he speaks very politely and they also ask him about the Morrison pickup and he likes it .

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 27, 2018 at 07:01 am

This is really good news. Burks is a guy that can have an immediate impact on the defense. He brings something the ILB's have lack for a quite a while and that is someone that can go sideline to sideline and basically cover the whole field. He has speed and athleticism.

Brian Bulaga mentioned Burks when talking about coming back from his injury and said how he is everywhere. He is so fast and can get anywhere like nothing.

The game is changing and the ILB of past are fading out. The guys with speed and coverage ability are needed more now. Burks fits that need.

It would be awesome if Burks could be ready for week 1. If not hopefully at least by week 2.
If he isn't ready by then, I wouldn't mind seeing Josh Jones getting some work at ILB, at least in sub packages geared towards the passing game more then running game.

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porupack's picture

August 27, 2018 at 08:05 am

Well, McCarthy's words shed little light. 'shouldn't be a long term'; what does that mean? Only thing you can conclude is that Oren Burks has not suffered a career ending injury, and probably not a season ending injury (but then again, season ending injury isn't really a long term prospect now is it?).

Getting Morrison probably says more than anything McCarthy says.
Packers are probably preparing for Burks to be out for up to half of season, maybe go on IR for 6 games. It is a prudent contingency move.

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Mojo's picture

August 27, 2018 at 01:47 pm

A lot of talk of using slow-footed Morrison on run downs and taking him out on passing.

Sounds great as long as opposing teams declare ahead of time which one they're going to do.

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MITM's picture

August 27, 2018 at 05:07 pm

Yea, no possible way that he could be in the game on a pass play without having coverage responsibility

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WinUSA's picture

August 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm

McCarthy isn't going to tip his hand as to the extent of Burks injury. If Burks was severely injured and McCarthy told the world, it would make other teams put a priority on signing any really good IL that was still on the market. I hope of course that he is telling the truth Burks has been playing lights out football all preseason. Here's to hoping!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Pack!

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