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Vince Biegel on track to return at some point during Packers' training camp

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Vince Biegel won't be on the field for Green Bay Packers minicamp this week, and he might not even be ready for the first training camp practice on July 27.

The rookie fourth-round pick should be good to go for the Sept. 10 season opener, though.

That was the sense coach Mike McCarthy gave on the eve of the mandatory minicamp, which runs Tuesday through Thursday. Biegel underwent foot surgery last month after a problem was discovered during rookie camp. It was the same foot that sent Biegel to surgery during his senior season at Wisconsin last fall.

"He'll be ready to go hopefully in training camp," McCarthy said.

Note that McCarthy said “in training camp” and not “by training camp,” which means Biegel might have to start out on the physically unable to perform list. A player who doesn't pass his physical to start training camp goes on PUP but can be activated any time during the preseason.

Biegel already has missed critical reps at a position that lacks depth after Julius Peppers and Datone Jones departed in free agency. The Packers don't have a lot of experience behind starting outside linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. With veterans excused from this week's minicamp, this would have been a productive set of practices for Biegel, who was the only outside linebacker the Packers drafted. Instead, he'll likely watch Kyler Fackrell and Jayrone Elliott line up as the starters with what's left of the No. 1 defense.

The Wisconsin Rapids native was a popular pick among Packers fans, some of whom hoped the team would draft Biegel's Badgers teammate T.J. Watt. Biegel was the feel-good story of the Packers' draft, but that story took a hit when problems with his foot returned. He underwent surgery last fall to have a screw implanted into his right foot. It's unclear if his quick return -- he missed only two games -- prevented the injury from fully healing, but the Packers felt by undergoing a second surgery in the offseason, it would prevent problems down the road.

"He's getting better," McCarthy said. "He's there every day [at Lambeau Field]. He's diligent."