GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers still hope rookie Cole Madison will play for them.
It just probably won’t be this season.
Madison, an offensive lineman from Washington State who was the first pick of the fifth round (No. 138 overall), remains on the did-not-report list, but for the first time since training camp opened, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and a representative for Madison offered an indication of where things stand.
“The plan is still to play,” Colin Roberts, one of Madison’s agents, told ESPN.com on Monday. “At this point, he’s still dealing with a personal thing like Brian said.”
The Packers can keep Madison on the did-not-report list but not count him on the 90-man camp roster. They also wouldn’t have to count him on the 53-man roster once the regular season begins but would retain his rights. Madison signed a standard four-year rookie contract that included a $324,331 signing bonus. No other part of his deal was guaranteed.
“We don’t expect Cole back anytime soon,” Gutekunst said. “This will take a little time for him to deal with. We’re fully supportive of what’s going on.
“He’s dealing with an issue, and when that issue is resolved, then we’ll get back to the football part of it. We’re in constant communication, and in full support of him at this time.”
Madison participated in the Packers' rookie camp and subsequent OTA sessions and June minicamp. It's unclear when he informed the Packers that he would not report for training camp.
McCarthy deferred the question about Madison to Gutekunst, but his answer when asked about the dwindling number of reps in camp left for young players is applicable to Madison’s situation, too. After Monday, the Packers have only three full training camp practices remaining even though their season opener is nearly a month away.
“There's not much time,” McCarthy said before Monday’s practice. “It's interesting you say 'a month' because I'm kind of dialed in. ... There's not much work left. This is why today's practice is very important and really try to get through a simulated, normal in-season work week going into the Pittsburgh game [on Thursday] and then we have the long week going into Oakland [the following Friday]. So yes, there's not much time left in the training camp environment, because the one thing about training camp, the opportunity to work later into the evening, those extra meetings are critical for the development of your young players.”
Madison, whose draft day conference call with reporters was one of the more entertaining sessions of the weekend, started 47 games at right tackle in his college career at Washington State, but the Packers planned to play him at right guard. They didn’t re-sign last year’s starter at that position, veteran Jahri Evans. Second-year pro Justin McCray has held that job throughout training camp.