Signed a few hours before practice, the first-year long-snapper fired the ball right back to punter Peter Mortell. It looked like he would prove plenty of competition for Rick Lovato, which was the impetus for signing Schmitt on Tuesday.
Less than 24 hours later, Schmitt showed up at practice with his right hand in a massive cast. On that first play, Schmitt broke his hand. He’s not exactly sure how it happened, but it likely ended any bid to make the roster.
The Packers didn’t even have time to install a nameplate above his locker before he got hurt.
“It was an interesting day,” Schmitt said Wednesday. “I came in, got signed, and I was still on a high and after one rep, I do this. But I can’t do anything about it now. I’ve just got to make sure it heals and I come back from this.”
It’s likely a four- to six-week recovery, which means he has little chance to come back before final cuts on Sept. 3. Most likely, the Packers will have to pay him an injury settlement and then move on, although he did attend practice on Wednesday as a spectator.
Schmitt actually took a second rep after his injury but, with his right hand throbbing, he sent back a low snap.
“The one snap was good,” Packers special-teams coordinator Ron Zook said. “The second one after the broken hand wasn’t so good. But I told him we wouldn’t hold him accountable for that.
“It’s a shame because it’s one of those things, it’s almost like when you see a guy with a knee with a non-contact injury, it’s the same kind of thing. A guy just looped around and he’s not sure what happened, I couldn’t really see it on the tape. It’s just one of those things.”
Schmitt waited more than a year for his first shot on an NFL roster. He had a tryout in 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings in their rookie camp and did the same thing with the Packers this past spring. Three weeks ago, he seemingly put his dream on hold to take a volunteer assistant-coaching position at Western Kentucky University.
Meanwhile, veteran snapper Brett Goode continues to wait for the Packers -- or anyone else -- to call. He’s less than eight months removed from his torn ACL but said Wednesday that he believes he’s “ready to go.”
Lovato, who replaced Goode following his injury last Dec. 20, has been erratic so far in training camp.
“I think probably the point’s been made,” Zook said of bringing in competition. “Rick was very, very good [Wednesday], and he was good last night. Once again, I’m not sure what’s going to happen there, but I feel bad for the new guy. Here he gets a chance and he gets an opportunity to come in here and one play.”