Jared Abbrederis came to the Packers with plenty of promise last year.
Then July 30 happened.
That’s when he tore his ACL in practice, which caused the Wisconsin standout receiver to miss his first pro season.
“You just have to look to the positives, try to find positives,” Abbrederis said last year after getting informed of the bad news. “I’m just ready to get to work, get surgery, get it fixed it up and get ready for next year.”
Well, next year is here. But now it’s going to be tougher than last year. First, he never played in a game, so technically this is truly his rookie season. Second, he has to get past the injury. Since his game relies on quickness that involves cutting and stopping, the mental hurdle will be a big step.
However, the biggest thing for Abbrederis to overcome is the crowded wide receiver field. Davante Adams is already penciled in as the No. 3 receiver and Jeff Janis has really wowed so far in OTAs. Also, Ty Montgomery was drafted in the third round out of Stanford this past spring as a versatile threat that includes special teams — a role Abbrederis was expected to fill.
Add in starters Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb and the Packers have the deepest set of receivers in the league.
Unless, the Packers do the unthinkable and trade one of them for, say, an outside linebacker, Abbrederis’ back is to the wall.
Mike McCarthy has said recently that “Jeff Janis has definitely been moving forward. I thought he definitely came on last year.” That has to give Abbrederis pause, because Janis was a seventh round flier that has continually gotten better ever since he came to Green Bay.
Abbrederis had what equates to a medical redshirt last year. He sat out the entire season without a coach being able to see him play in an NFL game. It would’ve been different if he got hurt in Week 2, because at least he would’ve had some film for everyone to see.
This training camp for Abbrederis will be like going back home for Thanksgiving dinner as an adult — but being banished to the children’s table.
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn