GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When Mike McCarthy left for summer vacation a month ago, he could head for his vacation home in Door County, Wisconsin, feeling pretty good about the health of his football team.
Sure, there’s always a surprise or two when players take physicals the day before the first training camp practice, but it doesn’t sound like the Green Bay Packers coach has too many -- if any -- concerns that there will be a slew of guys unable to practice when the players hit the field on July 27.
“Can’t talk about it until training camp, [but] I would say we’re relatively healthy for this time of year compared to prior seasons,” McCarthy said on the final day of the offseason program last month. “Going into practice, the injury conversation was rather small.”
Last summer, the Packers opened camp with six players on the physically unable to perform list. Receiver Jordy Nelson was the biggest name among them after he underwent a setback in his return from his 2015 knee injury, and he didn’t return until late in training camp. But there were other key players on that list, too: Jared Cook (foot), Ty Montgomery (ankle), T.J. Lang (shoulder), Corey Linsley (hamstring) and Sam Barrington (foot).
Linsley is the biggest injury concern among the veterans again this year. He underwent ankle surgery shortly after last season and did not practice at all this offseason. Still, McCarthy did not seem concerned.
“I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be [ready for training camp] unless he has some type of setback,” McCarthy said.
Fourth-year cornerback Demetri Goodson is unlikely to be cleared to start training camp after he tore his ACL late last season. He said he hoped to be ready by the start of the regular season.
Among the rookies, linebacker Vince Biegel’s status is the biggest unknown. The fourth-round pick from Wisconsin underwent foot surgery in May and is expected to return at some point in training camp but not necessarily when it opens next week.
Other players who missed significant time due to injuries during the offseason program were cornerback Herb Waters, defensive tackle Izaah Lunsford, tight end Beau Sandland and receiver Michael Clark.
“Our guys are in great shape, especially for this time of year, so there’s really no red flags,” McCarthy said at the close of the offseason program. “That’s a reflection of the players’ commitment to the program. … The meeting we’ve had this week on just the conditioning of our guys, it’s as good as I can remember.”
Players who don’t pass their physicals at the start of training camp are placed on PUP but still count on the 90-man roster. Only players who begin camp on PUP are eligible for the in-season PUP list, which doesn't count against the 53-man roster. Once a player passes his physical in camp, he cannot be placed on PUP.