Posted by Josh Katzowitz
It’s looking more and more like rookie Morgan Burnett could start the season at strong safety for the Packers.
As the Green Bay Press-Gazette points out, Atari Bigby will undergo ankle surgery Friday in hopes of playing this season. He had ankle surgery in 2008, but that was a much more complicated procedure. This one, Bigby said, is just to clean out some scar tissue.
You remember how it took Bigby a while to sign his restricted free agent tender and how he missed the team’s offseason workouts? Well, that decision might have contributed to Bigby’s ankle soreness.
From the article:
(Bigby) said he felt some pain after last season ended but figured it was the usual post-season soreness. After taking some time off, he said he resumed workouts during which the ankle game him little or no trouble.
But because he refused to sign his restricted free agent tender — he was seeking a long-term deal that he never got — he was never at Packers headquarters, therefore the team couldn’t monitor his health.
Safeties coach Darren Perry said today that Bigby actually passed the running test that every player must go through the day before camp starts. It was only after the test that Bigby complained of soreness in his ankle. The Packers then failed him on his physical and placed him on the active physically unable to perform list.
While Burnett has performed relatively well while running with the first team – which he’s done all offseason – it’s tough to expect him to make a huge impact if he starts in his NFL debut. Even Burnett knows that.
"I can't really say (I'm ready) because we're just in the first week of training camp," Burnett told ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert . "By the end of camp, I'll have everything that I need down. As of right now, I'm still in the learning process of just getting done with the first week of camp.”
If Morgan does take the starting role, he’ll have some help. Free safety Nick Collins is one of the better defensive backs in the league and can help guide him through what promises to be some rough waters.
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