ACL injury costs Abbrederis his rookie year

GREEN BAY, Wis. – At the Green Bay Packers' annual shareholders meeting on the eve of training camp last month, the mere mention of Jared Abbrederis' name by general manager Ted Thompson drew the loudest cheer from the assembled stockholders and guests at Lambeau Field.

It prompted Packers president Mark Murphy to say after the meeting, "If we draft more Badgers, we'll get better attendance at the shareholder meeting and more rounds of applause."

Imagine what it would have been like had the former Wisconsin Badgers receiver actually played in a game at Lambeau this season?

But it won't happen this season for the fifth-round pick and native of Wautoma, Wisconsin. He confirmed via Twitter on Saturday that the knee injury he sustained in practice on Thursday was a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

The injury caught the Packers by surprise on Friday morning. Abbrederis practiced fully on Thursday and had no noticeable fall or collision. He has worn a sleeve on his right knee during practice and had nothing more than that on during Friday's session, when he watched from the sideline.

Abbrederis will need reconstructive surgery, but should be cleared in time to return for training camp next season. Tackle Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL last August and was cleared at the start of the offseason program in April.

Abbrederis was on track to not only make the team, but also was in the mix to return kicks.

"I think he's done very well," Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements said Friday. "He showed a lot in the spring. He runs very good routes, he catches the ball well, he's a smart receiver, and he's had his moments where he's done a lot of good things. So we're happy with his progress.”

Abbrederis was one of three receivers Thompson picked in this year's draft. Second-round pick Davante Adams of Fresno State has looked solid in camp, but seventh-rounder Jeff Janis of Saginaw Valley State has yet to practice. He was diagnosed with shingles when he reported for training camp and could return next week.