Packers willing to wait for Jared Abbrederis

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers haven't given up on Jared Abbrederis, and he hasn't given up on football.

The fifth-round draft pick in 2014 intends to continue his bid to make the roster even though he has been out since the first practice of training camp because of a concussion.

What remains unclear is when Abbrederis will be cleared.

The former University of Wisconsin receiver left practice on July 30 when he fell awkwardly, and although he has been attending meetings -- an indication he has progressed through part of the NFL's concussion protocol -- there are still tests he needs to pass before he can practice again.

At this point, it appears Packers coach Mike McCarthy is willing to wait even though it's been nearly two years since Abbrederis last played in a game. He missed all of his rookie season because of a torn ACL he sustained early in training camp last summer. To that point, Abbrederis had drawn praise from quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and McCarthy reiterated that this week.

"Jared is a very good football player," McCarthy said. "He's one of those players you can [see] -- obviously you saw in college and just the time he's been on the field here -- it comes easy to him. It's natural. He's instinctive. His route running, connecting with the quarterback in the passing game, he probably did that as quickly as anybody we've had around here."

NFL rules prevent Abbrederis from talking to reporters until he's cleared from his latest concussion but despite a pre-draft report of a lengthy concussion history, Abbrederis and his agent, Rick Smith, have long maintained he had only one previous concussion. It occurred in 2012, and he missed one game. It was the only full game he missed his college career.

The Packers likely will keep five receivers. The first four spots, barring injuries, are locks: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery. That leaves Jeff Janis, Myles White and a group of undrafted rookies -- led by Larry Pinkard and Ed Williams -- for Abbrederis to beat out if he can return this preseason.

If he does not return before final roster cuts are due on Sept. 5, the Packers could:

  • Keep him on the 53-man roster and wait for him to be cleared.

  • Put him on injured reserve for the second straight year, which ends his season unless the Packers used their one "designated to return" tag.

  • Or release him.

The physically unable to perform (PUP) list is not an option. That's reserved only for players who did not pass their physical to start camp.

"Injuries are unfortunate," McCarthy said. "They're part of the game, and this is an injury that's obviously keeping him off the field."