A promising training camp for Equanimeous St. Brown might have just come to a screeching halt after the latest reports suggest the Green Bay Packers wide receiver and special teams asset could miss more than a month.
According to a report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, an MRI confirmed that St. Brown suffered a high left ankle sprain during Thursday night’s preseason game against the Oakland Raiders in Winnipeg and will likely miss 4-6 weeks, despite X-rays coming back negative.
St. Brown exited the game near the end of the first half after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit that left him down on the turf for some time before a trainer helped him off, which you can judge for yourself below.
Flags came out immediately against Raiders safety Erik Harris, who was given a personal foul for lowering his head to initiate contact. Broadcasters seemed convinced the play would also result in Harris receiving a fine from the NFL.
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Great Run Cut Short
St. Brown has put on a terrific training camp this preseason playing both offense and special teams with a few eye-catching plays during the exhibition games. His performance has made him a likely candidate to emerge from a contested wide receiver group and make the 53-man roster entering the regular season, but the injury setback puts in question the second-year receiver’s status.
The Packers could put St. Brown on IR with a designation for return, but the move would be a gamble since he would need to fill one of the 53 spots on the final roster cut. Especially with the emergent talent lining up behind him.
Star receiver Davante Adams, along with Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow, are all locks to make the final cut with just one preseason game left to be played. That leaves St. Brown contending with preseason star Darrius Shepherd and Trevor Davis, who returned from a stinger for his first in-game action Thursday night and led the Packers with five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Allen Lazard, who also left Thursday’s game after appearing to land on his head or shoulder, and J’Mon Moore are also on the bubble when it comes to filling three — at most, four — available roster spots for receivers.
Aaron Rodgers Has Faith
While the Packers star quarterback has not yet had an opportunity to address the injury to St. Brown, Rodgers boasted earlier this week about the depth of Green Bay’s receiving corps this preseason.
“I think it’s definitely one of the deeper groups we’ve had,” Rodgers said after returning to practice from back tightness Monday. “There’s a lot of guys with legitimate shots to make the team. Some guys who you didn’t maybe think of before camp.”
The two-time MVP addressed St. Brown specifically, saying he “almost quietly” has put on a good training camp. Despite limited playing time in 2018, St. Brown finished last season with 21 catches for 328 yards.
“We haven’t talked about him a lot, which in this case is almost a positive because it’s almost like, ‘Yeah, well he’s on the squad.'” Rodgers said. “He’s been that good. It’s almost been an understated, really solid camp for him.”
Rodgers also addressed the progress of Lazard, another now-injured receiver who caught just one pass for seven yards last season but who Rodgers believes deserves a spot on one of the 32 teams around the league — if not the Packers.
“I think he’s had a really nice camp, he’s made a bunch of plays, he’s always showing up on special teams, he does things the right way in practice and I think he’s put himself in a position to legitimately be playing for all 32 teams,” Rodgers said. “And We say that from time to time, the cliche almost that you’re always playing for the entire NFL, and that is true to a point if you’re good enough, and Allen is definitely good enough to be an NFL player.”