In fact, as colleague Kevin Seifert wrote back in February, Burnett was one of only four non-offensive linemen in the NFL last season to play in every snap for his team on his respective side of the ball.
Now, Burnett may be in danger of missing Sunday’s season opener at San Francisco.
He was one of two defensive starters added to the Packers’ injury report on Friday. The other was linebacker Brad Jones. Both were listed as questionable after they experienced recurrences of their hamstring injuries from the preseason.
Burnett did not practice on Friday, and Jones was listed as a limited participant.
Like cornerback Casey Hayward, who on Wednesday was ruled out for the game, Burnett and Jones both sustained hamstring injuries in the Aug. 23 preseason game against Seattle.
“We’re being smart with those guys,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after Friday’s practice. “And really talking about the whole team, you get to that point, it’s 48 hours (before the game), it’s important for everybody to get themselves ready to play the game. It’s something we’ve always stressed, when you get off the field on Fridays, the opportunity now to physically get ready. So hopefully it’s nothing more than that.”
If Burnett does not play against the 49ers, the Packers would start M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian at the two safety positions. The two have been in a competition for the safety spot next to Burnett, and the Packers have not said who has won that battle.
If Jones can’t play, then veteran backup Robert Francois likely would start in his place. Jones is the designated defensive signal caller.
Here’s the Packers’ full injury report:
S Morgan Burnett (hamstring, did not practice, questionable)
CB Jarrett Bush (ankle, limited participation, probable)
CB Casey Hayward (hamstring, out)
LB Brad Jones (hamstring, limited participation, questionable)