Even in the offseason, the Green Bay Packers continue to get bad injury news. Defensive end Jerel Worthy went down in the last game of the regular season with a knee injury that he characterized as a “bone bruise,” but Green Bay defensive line coach Mike Trgovac revealed that Worthy underwent knee surgery last week.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the surgery was to repair a torn ACL, and was performed by the ubiquitous Dr. James Andrews. The Packers have yet to confirm the report.
The timing really stinks for Worthy and the Packers, considering how late in the season it occurred and how long the typical recovery time is (excepting people named Adrian Peterson). Worthy is expected to miss all of the offseason, and it seems more than likely that he will have to begin the 2013 season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. If he does, he will be forced to sit out the first six games.
The absence of Worthy in the offseason will make it a bit harder for the Packers to evaluate a defensive line that was underwhelming this season. Worthy has a quiet season – 2.5 sacks, 14 tackles, and one forced fumble – but certainly showed enough talent to give the team and fans hope for his future development. The Packers are looking to rebound from two consecutive seasons of defensive letdowns, and Worthy is part of Green Bay’s 2012 draft class around which the team hopes to build a bigger, stronger, faster defense.
Worthy’s surgery certainly doesn’t help the cause. Though Green Bay tends to be wary of free agency, the team might want to consider dipping in for a veteran defensive lineman who could, at the very least, serve as a stopgap until Worthy is ready to take the field.