Green Bay Packers' Mike Neal Injured in Training Camp Practice

Michael DulkaContributor IAugust 16, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - CIRCA 2010: In this photo provided by the NFL, Mike Neal of the Green Bay Packers poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Mike Neal of the Green Bay Packers suffered a knee injury at the team's practice this morning. The extent of the injury is unknown and Neal will undergo an MRI this afternoon.

Neal was injured in a non-contact individual drill. This isn't a great sign, as most cases like this turn out to be serious.

Neal was able to walk off the field under his own power. 

In his post-practice press conference on Packers.com, Mike McCarthy confirmed the injury. McCarthy also made an interesting statement as he briefed the media.

“We were expecting big things from Mike as a contributor this year," he said.

This could be nothing, but McCarthy's use of the past tense could indicate a serious injury. 

This would be a tremendous blow the Packers as they try to make up for the loss of Cullen Jenkins. In fact, it was the Packers' confidence in Neal that encouraged them to let Jenkins walk. Neal was expected to have a breakout season after coming off a shoulder injury last season.

The Packers' remaining defense linemen are B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, C.J. Wilson, Jarius Wynn, Howard Green, Lawrence Guy, Chris Donaldson, Eli Joseph, and Jay Ross.

If Neal is going to miss significant time, Wilson and Wynn are the two most likely to fill in.

Ultimately, the MRI will indicate how serious the injury is and whether or not Neal will miss an extended period of time. This is the Packers' first big scare after last season's injury-ridden campaign.