Miscellaneous, NFL

Packers injury problems start early … with the new head coach

According to NFL Network’s Mike Silver, first-year Packers head coach Matt LaFleur suffered a torn Achilles’ playing basketball.

The dangers of NFL offseason training hit the Green Bay Packers and one of their top offseason acquisitions this week.

Head coach Matt LaFleur, who was hired to replace Mike McCarthy after he was fired last season, suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon while playing knockout with other members of the team staff, according to a report by NFL Network’s Mike Silver. LaFleur will have surgery Sunday.

Recovery from Achilles’ tendon surgery is roughly four months in a cast and then rehabilitation. It’s unclear how the injury will impact LaFleur’s play-calling and game planning, but he will be restricted to coaching from a cart for the rest of the offseason.

The injury reinforces concerns players have expressed over the years about overtraining by all those involved in the NFL. For LaFleur, 39, the question will be whether he regains quickness and explosiveness to run down the sideline to call timeouts or throw challenge flags.

Well-known orthopedist Dr. David Chao, a former team doctor with the San Diego Chargers, indicated he expected LaFleur to be ready for the season.

The injury is the same one Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula suffered at the end of the 1994 season and had him coaching from a cart during the playoffs that year. Shula’s use of the cart was of some concern to the NFL, which was worried about the safety of players who might run out of bounds.

While the Shula situation was a little more serious than what LaFleur is dealing with, the situation is a nuisance as the Packers work to install a new offense. So far this offseason, Green Bay players such as wide receiver Davanta Adams have expressed happiness with the new attack and with LaFleur’s approach after 13 years under McCarthy.

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