Packers' Biegel Potentially Nearing Rookie Debut

We're about two weeks removed from possibly seeing Green Bay Packers linebacker Vince Biegel officially declare himself as a member of the 53-man roster. Of course, that depends on where he's at in his recovery.

The Packers' fourth-round pick from April has yet to play in a live-action game after re-injuring the same foot that plagued him as a senior at Wisconsin. It would later require surgery, all but ruling out any chance he'd have at being ready by the September 10th season opener.

After four games, there's no rush to have him back either. The Packers' two starting outside linebackers in Nick Perry and Clay Matthews have combined for four sacks through the first quarter of the season, and Perry missed one due to a hand injury that he's now nursing in a club, similar to how he ended last season.

Newest acquisition to the front seven Ahmad Brooks has also gotten in on the fun. He played 37 snaps Thursday night against the Chicago Bears and 32 four days prior against the Cincinnati Bengals after returning from concussion protocol. In such reps, he's been able to put consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks en route to earning the first sack of his Green Bay career against the Bengals.

Having Biegel in the mix would certainly be an added bonus given his impressive resume as a Badger and the heightened rotation he'd bring to the two outside rushers. However, there's no reason to urge him into the lineup sooner than he's ready.

If he's even close to ready.

In August, Biegel said that all of the bones in his foot were healed structurally. Still, he has somewhat of a far way to go for a player who missed a majority of OTAs and all of both minicamp and training camp.

By rule, Biegel must six out for the first six weeks of the regular season -- four down, two to go -- before he can begin practicing with the team. After the six weeks, the Packers will have a five-week window -- until week 11 -- to determine whether or not he's capable of practicing. If what Biegel said in August pertaining to his foot being mostly healed is true, another month-and-a-half should put him in even better of a spot.

On the day Biegel first practices, the Packers have an additional three-week window to decide whether or not they want to activate him to the 53-man roster. They'd have to make a corresponding move in order to do so, depending on where their roster numbers stand by then. The second week of the three is also a bye.

Alternatively, the Packers could leave Biegel on the PUP list by disregarding each of those deadlines and allowing him to finish the season there.

The Packers are on the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Dallas to face the Cowboys and then Minnesota to tango with the Vikings for the first of two meetings this season. After the latter, Biegel will be eligible to be activated, it's just a matter of if he'll be fundamentally capable of being productive or have a full grasping of his duties.

With that scenario being unlikely, you can certainly bet on a late-season debut.

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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 (23)

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flackcatcher's picture

October 02, 2017 at 09:27 pm

Zach, forgive me: ' but I'll believe it when I see it.'

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

October 02, 2017 at 09:49 pm

Don't worry, me too.

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KenEllis's picture

October 03, 2017 at 11:01 am

If Biegel can come in and be the player TT expected 2016 3rd round pick Kyler Fackrell to be, the D will immediately improve.

There are currently 3 competent OLBs on the roster, but with the injury histories of Matthews & Perry, and given the ages of Brooks & Matthews, an infusion of young talent, especially when it comes to rushing the passer, would be a significant boost to the D.

If he is not cut once Biegel gets activated, Fackrell looks destined for nothing more than special teams before moving on.

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dschwalm's picture

October 07, 2017 at 01:14 pm

Likewise

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al bundy's picture

October 02, 2017 at 11:12 pm

As a multiple foot injury person, I read that with ankle and severe sprains, you never heal 100% and thus are susceptible to re occurrences. Man did I find that to be true the hardway. I have a pair of crutches and a walking boot in my garage as a just in case.
I'm hoping this kid doesnt suffer that fate.
PS its one of the reasons you see so many of these type injuries on the packers, they had them previously.

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croatpackfan's picture

October 03, 2017 at 02:27 am

In one you are right - healed structure is never ever the same as original structure. Younger person have better chance of getting healing structure to become almost same as original, but not the same. Letting injury to heal in prolonged period, you may achieve better structure of the healed position.

Also, modern medicine has different possibilities of helping healed place to be less stressed in the future, while performing similar or same movements (at the same strenght and pressure).

Knowing that I think Packers did smart moves with Vince and he might be OK in the future...

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Johnblood27's picture

October 03, 2017 at 08:50 am

Thank you Dr Croat...

3 words... Tommy John Surgery.

ligament better than original and pitchers usually have better velocity upon return.

Another example of better living through chemistry... lol

I hope for the best for young Mr Biegle. however all I see in my moments of musing is Justin Harrell. But I sure hope not.

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2017 at 09:14 am

Ron Wolf used to say that players you draft who are hurt tend to stay hurt. Now, Biegel was "healthy" when they picked him, but he got hurt awfully quick. I can understand the Harrell concerns...

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 03, 2017 at 04:41 am

Getting Bakhtiari, Bulaga, Daniels, House, Montgomery, Adams and some reserve O-lineman back is more intriguing, at this point, than getting Biegel on the 53. Between his injury recovery and basically missing all football activity in 2017, I wouldn't think Biegel would have much of an immediate impact.

To bad he's not allowed to practice after the first 6 weeks of PUP without a timetable to be activated. He could use a 6 week practice window (not 3 weeks) to get up to speed than activate him for the last four weeks of the regular season (if he deems worthy).
Having another pass rusher during the playoff push would be nice.

Of course, current roster injuries could dictate a quicker activation.

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NickPerry's picture

October 03, 2017 at 06:16 am

"Getting Bakhtiari, Bulaga, Daniels, House, Montgomery, Adams and some reserve O-lineman back is more intriguing, at this point"

Can I PLEASE give this man 2 thumbs up?? Amen to that GBPDAN1!!!

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Lphill's picture

October 03, 2017 at 06:08 am

Yes I agree maybe come the end of the season into the post season having a fresh pass rusher would be great.

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NickPerry's picture

October 03, 2017 at 06:13 am

I would imagine Biegel has a grasp of the playbook by now considering when he's not rehabbing that would be the most productive thing he could do..STUDY his playbook. Biegel seems like that kind of kid too. Studying the playbook and being able to actually practice are 2 different things but with the defense Wisconsin played I'd think he could at least contribute.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 03, 2017 at 06:37 am

While I think Biegel will likely be able to play right away, or soon after, I doubt we will see him before week 10.

The Packers take their time bringing players back from injury. With Biegel he never had a training camp or preseason so he will have to gain all that practice time back. Adams was in a very similar situation and he has taken 4 defensive snaps so far. That was basically because of emergency more then anything.

I am guessing they will have him practice for weeks before we see him. Honestly though, if he can provide anything later in the year, that would be huge for us.

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2017 at 09:11 am

I tend to agree with you and with Nick: he should be studying and learning. He's likely observing all practices even though he can't participate.

My hope is that he's using this time as an extended off-season and getting stronger...that's usually the knock on a player like him coming out of college. He could really benefit from that extra training time.

Still, he's had exactly one day of on-field activity of any sort with the Packers. He'll need several weeks just to get close to acclimating to being on the field and what's happening around him. I think week 10 as a starting point seems reasonable, but he could play some special teams before that.

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HankScorpio's picture

October 03, 2017 at 07:23 am

I pay less attention to the Badgers than the Packers but it seems to me that of the two, Biegel had a better UW career than TJ Watt. Of course that means nothing at the NFL level until both can prove what they are at this level. I'm anxious to see what Biegel can do as a pro.

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2017 at 09:08 am

Watt's UW career was more of a flash while Biegel's was a consistent burn. Flash will get you further in the draft process, but neither made it through without injury concerns.

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Handsback's picture

October 03, 2017 at 08:10 am

Biegel and Mt. Adams need time to heal and grow into being pros. That's a physical growth for sure, getting stronger as well as losing some of that college fat. That's why they talk about the 2nd year jump. The players are stronger and faster.

The one issue both will have, Biegel more than Adams, is the mental side of pro football. Knowing how to think faster because you have been on the field seeing your opponents react to how you play. Knowing what they will do and reacting faster because of it. That more than anything else is why they want both to get on the field this season. Hopefully next season they will have a great impact on the team.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 03, 2017 at 08:53 am

How come nobody writes an article about Demetrius Goodson coming off PUP to replace Randall (or Rollins, or someone else?)

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Because it's harder to spell Demetrius than Vince?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 04, 2017 at 02:58 am

I always liked Goodson more than others did. To attempt an answer, maybe because it is a mystery to many why GB kept him on the PUP at all? He reminds me of Randall in that his main value was athletic ability (decent speed and excellent change of direction ability) rather than technique or ball awareness. Often he'd be in good position to defend a pass, yet the receiver would come down with the ball.

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Gman1976's picture

October 04, 2017 at 09:19 am

Did you have to ask?

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Chino's picture

October 03, 2017 at 09:07 am

six out for the first six weeks....proofread

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Allan Murphy's picture

October 03, 2017 at 12:21 pm

No way can he play up too TJ Watt .............

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