The Green Bay Packers dipped into the waters of free agency this season, in a rather unusual move. Ted Thompson signed tight end Jared Cook, who had been released by the Rams in February, and the 29-year-old tight end is expected to bring an athletic dimension to the position that fans of the green and gold have not seen since Jermichael Finley manned the position - or perhaps before that.
However, after just a few OTA practices, it seems that Cook has hit his first bump in the road. ESPN reported on Friday that Cook had a "preventative" surgery on his foot this week, and that the recovery from the procedure will keep him out for the rest of the offseason workout schedule. The ESPN report also notes that the Packers hope that Cook will return in time for the start of training camp on July 21st.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport also has some details on the timeline for Cook's recovery:
Sounds like he could actually participate in minicamp if #Packers wanted to push things (they don't). https://t.co/HhkwzaelC6— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 3, 2016
This is certainly good news, as minicamp begins on June 14th, just eleven days from now. Given that timetable, this issue does indeed appear to be minor and should not affect his ability to return to the field on time a month and a half later.
For all of Cook's flaws, durability has not been a concern. In his seven-year NFL career, cook has missed just five games. He tore his rotator cuff late in the 2012 season and was put on Injured Reserve for the final three games; he missed the other two games as a rookie in 2009, when he had a mild ankle sprain in the preseason that cost him a week 1 contest and a concussion cost him one game later on that same year.
If the surgery indeed was successful and Cook is able to suit up for the start of training camp, this will be merely a blip on the radar. It will likely be frustrating for him to be unable to start developing his chemistry with Aaron Rodgers on the field, but he will likely spend the next few weeks of practice working on his mental reps. A full training camp and preseason should more than get him up to speed on the Packers' offense and put him in a position to be a difference-maker over the middle of the field.