Last year, it was Kenny Clark.
This year, it’s Kevin King.
For the second consecutive year, the Green Bay Packers’ top draft pick will be absent from organized team activities because class remains in session at their schools.
By NFL rule, incoming rookies are not allowed to attend voluntary practices until the completion of final exams. At Washingotn, where King started at cornerback for his final two seasons, finals week runs June 5 through June 9. Depending on King’s finals schedule, that means he’ll probably miss all three weeks or OTAs. He will be in Green Bay for the mandatory minicamp, which is scheduled for June 13 through June 15.
While Clark wasn’t allowed in Green Bay while classes were in progress at UCLA, he was allowed to stay in contact with defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and watch film through the team-issued iPad playbooks.
“You’ve got to come in and know you missed a lot,” Clark said on Tuesday. “The coaches, they’re getting him straight. Just come in and know you’ve got a lot of stuff to catch up on. He should be all right. Get straight to work. You’ve got to get straight to work. Get in the playbook and get as many walk-through reps and as many practice reps as you can.”
Most of Green Bay’s 90-man roster participated at Tuesday’s second OTA practice. Five players did not practice due to injuries: punter Jacob Schum (unknown), cornerback Demetri Goodson (knee), outside linebacker Vince Biegel (foot), center Corey Linsley (ankle) and receiver Michael Clark (unknown). Outside linebacker Clay Matthews was absent for personal reasons. Like King, undrafted linebacker Josh Letuligasenoa remained in school at Cal Poly.
Linsley, who is recovering from offseason surgery, took part in pre-practice stretching before heading into the Don Hutson Center for rehab. He wouldn’t rule out practicing this spring but might be kept on the sideline until training camp. Last year, he missed most of the offseason, all of training camp and the start of the regular season after tearing his hamstring.
“I’m a guy, I would rather push myself and get hurt pushing myself too hard than come back and be out of shape and then get a hurt. I’m always going to try and push and try and be at my best. Now, I know I’ve got to pull back a little bit and understand where I am in the course of things. Last year, I tore my hamstring in the offseason and I went into summer thinking, ‘Oh, I’m good.’ You’ve got to realize where you are on the timetable of things and where your body is when you’re recovering from an injury. I learned a lot from that.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.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.