Good news in Green Bay. Packers linebacker Oren Burks won’t require surgery after suffering a pectoral injury last weekend and could potentially return during the 2019 season, according to Tom Silverstein and Ryan Wood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Burks originally thought he’d be forced to undergo an operation after injuring his pectoral during Green Bay’s first preseason game, but a second opinion revealed the issue is less serious than the initial diagnosis suggested. However, Burks did hyperextend his pectoral muscle, meaning he’s now waiting for a soft tissue injury to heal.
“I’m really hoping that Oren’s thing is going to be short term,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “We’ll get him back here quicker than I think, but right now, I’d just kind of like to get through this next game and kind of see where we’re at, see where Oren’s at.”
Gutenkunst didn’t provide a timeline for Burks’ recovery, but did indicate Green Bay won’t look into signing a free agent replacement. Instead, the Packers are giving undrafted rookie free agent Curtis Bolton a chance to replace Burks as the club’s weakside linebacker.
Burks, a third-round pick in 2018, appeared in 14 games during his rookie season but spent most of his time on special teams. He was expected to take over as a starting linebacker for the Packers this year, but as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com recently noted, that “starting” job could essentially be a part-time role given defensive coordinator Mike Pettine‘s for “big nickel” and dime looks that employ a third or fourth defensive back at the expense of a linebacker.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.