GREEN BAY, Wis. – Just when it looked like the Green Bay Packers might have found a receiver who can help stretch the field, he was wiped out by an injury.
Jared Abbrederis, whose 32-yard catch down the sideline helped set up the first touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, will miss “several weeks,” according to coach Mike McCarthy, because of the rib injury he sustained on that play.
It was Abbrederis’ first extended action on offense, and he finished with four catches for 57 yards. His 32-yard reception in the fourth quarter was the Packers' longest play from scrimmage against the Lions.
It’s the third significant injury for the former fifth-round pick from the University of Wisconsin. He missed all of his rookie season last year because of a torn ACL and sat out most of training camp this past summer because of a concussion.
Abbrederis was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Two days earlier, he declined to say whether he sustained broken ribs but the new timeline for his return suggests that's a strong possibility.
“You feel bad for Jared because he had an excellent camp and was hurt there in the middle of, shoot, beginning of camp,” McCarthy said. “[He had an] excellent offseason. You know, was obviously practicing very well last year when he was injured, and obviously this is his third injury. So hopefully he can bounce back from this.”
It left McCarthy searching for another option to help get the NFL's 22nd-ranked passing offense on track. Perhaps rookie Ty Montgomery will return after missing the last three games because of an ankle injury, or second-year pro Jeff Janis will get his shot.
“As time moves on, hopefully he’ll have more opportunities on offense,” McCarthy said of Janis. “It’s really about continuing to practice, getting in and out of different personnel groups and frankly, some players have performed a little higher in front of him, Jared Abbrederis. Jared has actually performed very well in the past month, and you see the opportunities he had against Detroit and took full advantage of them. Hopefully, Jeff will be the next guy to do that.”
Janis, a crowd favorite who has stood out in the preseason each of the last two years, has not seen any significant playing time on offense since he caught two passes for 79 yards against the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 18 after Montgomery’s injury.
“As of right now, if my role is on special teams and that’s how I’m going to help the team win, then I’m all good with that,” Janis said. “I’m happy with the special teams reps, and we’ll see what happens on offense.”