Packers QB Brett Hundley Out But Not Limping

Re-injuring his left ankle on Thursday vs. Oakland was the latest setback for Brett Hundley. Fortunately for Hundley and the Packers, he remained sharp the first time he was injured.

The bad news is Brett Hundley is likely to miss Friday’s game at San Francisco, meaning he will have missed three of the first four scheduled preseason games.

“I think Brett will be hard-pressed to do anything this week,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Saturday. “I don’t see him playing against San Francisco.”

The good news is Hundley strode through the locker room like there’s nothing at all wrong with his twice-injured left ankle. His walk to and from his locker spoke more than anything he said to reporters.

Hundley, who wouldn’t have played in the Hall of Fame Game and didn’t play against Cleveland because of an injured ankle that kept him out for almost two weeks, re-injured the ankle as he was taken down from behind by Raiders star Khalil Mack early in the second quarter of Thursday’s game vs. Oakland.

“I didn’t want to drop (to the ground), to be honest,” Hundley said on Saturday. “I don’t really like just dropping on the ground. My thing is, when you get back out there after an ankle injury, you’re trying to stay away from the ankle. So when somebody rolls up on it and flares it back up, your first reaction is just start screaming. But as soon as I got off the field, just trying to make sure it was all right, got everything off. At least I don’t think, as of right now, it’s terrible, but we’ll see.”

The first layoff hardly seemed to impact Hundley, who was sharp at practice and went 5-of-7 (one drop) for 67 yards vs. the Raiders.

“I think it went well,” Hundley said. “For the time I was out there, I had fun, and every opportunity I try to make it something special.”

The big play wound up being his last play – a pinpoint-accurate, 31-yard, back-shoulder completion to Davante Adams.

“That play was awesome because we were sort of talking about that and I was happy to hit that,” Hundley said. “So it was a great play, and unfortunately, I had to hobble off after.”

Still, there’s no question the injury and re-injury are obvious setbacks to the talented second-year quarterback. Last year, there wasn’t much urgency for Hundley, not with Scott Tolzien entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback. His sensational play last preseason, when he ranked No. 1 in the NFL in passer rating, touchdown passes and yards per pass attempt, played a role in his offseason promotion. That makes Hundley just one snap away from replacing Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

Injuries are doing nothing to continue that development. Nonetheless, that's the reality, so Hundley will spend the next week or so taking mental reps and doing his best to stay sharp.

“You’ve got to take it for what it’s worth,” said Hundley, reluctant to discuss what he’s missing out on because of the ankle. “Obviously, it’s an injury and nobody likes injuries but, at the same time, I’m blessed to be here. I’m happy to be here and I’m always happy to be here.”

As for the play itself, Mack probably should have been flagged. One officiating emphasis for this year is on penalizing defenders for low hits on quarterbacks. Against Cleveland the week prior, for instance, Green Bay’s Lerentee McCray was flagged. No penalty, however, was thrown on Mack.

“You know, it’s hard to talk about those things,” said Hundley, who seemed to be measuring his words. “After watching the film, I guess that’s the emphasis this year. You know, I’ll have to watch it and see if it should have been emphasized a little bit more.”

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.



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