There are many things that can complicate your chances of making an NFL roster when you are a low-round drafted rookie. You do not expect a parasite infection to be one of them.
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson moved up in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft to select linebacker Terrell Manning out of North Carolina State. Unfortunately for all, Manning’s rookie season was effectively derailed by a mysterious stomach ailment that sapped his strength and weight, a concussion and a shoulder injury. Once Manning was finally able to get on the field, he proved to be a valuable special teams asset. He even earned a game ball for his special teams performance in the Packers’ Wild Card playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
In his second season, Manning has his sights set on meaningful snaps at linebacker. He is jockeying for a role at inside linebacker with fellow reserve players Jamari Lattimore, Robert Francois and rookie seventh-round draft pick Sam Barrington. Veterans A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones appear set as the starters.
The recent turnover at linebacker (Erik Walden, Desmond Bishop, D.J. Smith and Frank Zombo are all gone) opens the door for Manning to take the next step. At this stage, it appears Lattimore is ahead of him, but both will get plenty of opportunities to make an impact until final cut-down day on Aug. 31.
Terrell Manning fast facts:
Size: 6’2”, 237 pounds
College: North Carolina State
Bio: Manning was a two-year starter at North Carolina State and elected to forgo his final season in college to play professional football. He appeared in 36 games with 26 starts during his college career, finishing with 207 tackles (128 solo), including 26 for loss, 10.5 sacks, five interceptions, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He earned ACC Linebacker of the Week honors multiple times during the regular season.
Chances of making the Packers roster: Good — the Packers have a “help wanted” sign out at interior linebacker.
Practice squad eligible: Yes.