There is a development in one of the five rookie training camp stories I wrote about last week regarding the competition at safety between rookie Third Round pick Morgan Burnett and Atari Bigby.
Bigby made his first appearance as a Packer in 2010 at the start of training camp missing all of the offseason activities in the hopes of getting a new contract. Bigby ultimately signed his one year restricted free agent tender in order to be in camp on time. Instead of being able to prove he is worthy of the new contract he is vocal about wanting, he is on the sidelines dealing with an injury situation again.
According to reports from Packer Training Camp, Bigby is unable to practice due to an injury to the same ankle that has slowed him for most of the last two seasons. Bigby suggests the injury happened during conditioning drills upon arriving at training camp. Given that he just signed a contract and is already injured, it'll be interesting to see how this story develops. Since he was a no-show for all of the offseason until reporting just a few days ago, it seems the Packers have no choice but to accept his statement that it happened during conditioning.
Either way, it seems Bigby's days in Green Bay may be numbered. The Packers have already drafted Burnett who has been taking all the first string reps thus far and are working with former CB Will Blackmon at safety. Although Blackmon has also had his share of injury issues, he has also shown plenty of big play ability and is practicing currently (while Bigby isn't).
It remains unclear how severe Bigby's injury is or how much time he will miss, but unless he can hit the reset button on his ankle, its difficult to picture him on the roster come September. I Definitely will be keeping an eye on this.
Other Notes on the Rookies
- Unfortunately rookie RB James Starks has been one of the few Packers who could not practice due to injury (hamstring) reportedly still an issue from OTAs.
- Welcome to the NFL Andrew Quarless. In highlights from the first practice, veteran LB Desmond Bishop delivered a brutal shot to Quarless as he came across the middle on a short route.
- Undrafted free agent Sam Shields reportedly keeps all his speed when the pads are on. On day one he flashed in front of a route and intercepted a Matt Flynn pass on his way to the endzone. Also he was said to have broken up a deep pass to Jordy Nelson due largely to his speed on the play.