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Packers’ Matt LaFleur tears Achilles playing basketball, will coach from cart

An injury could already set back the Packers in OTAs, only this time it’s to the team’s new, hands-on head coach.

Green Bay Packers Introduce Matt LaFleur - Press Conference
The first big Packers injury came this week, but it was the team’s head coach suffering it, not a player.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Matt LaFleur didn’t take long to get into the PackIRs spirit. According to NFL Network reports from Mike Silver, the Green Bay Packers’ new head coach tore his Achilles in a game of knockout Wednesday night and will have surgery Sunday to repair it. He’ll reportedly coach from a cart for the remainder of OTAs.

Had this been Mike McCarthy, the story would be worth telling, but perhaps not particularly impactful. LaFleur, on the other hand, brought an energy and verve to the team, often physically showing what he wanted done or how he wanted a particular facet of the game executed. That hands-on approach will have to be modified after the injury, a potential setback in putting the finer points on this offense.

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy will have to pick up the slack from a teaching standpoint. LaFleur’s player-centric approach to practice left them sidelined to some extent. Hackett said Wednesday he’s been in charge of organizational and communication duties rather than offensive installs, while Getsy provides an echo for his head coach, instilling in the quarterbacks what is expected.

Their voices must be raised, testing the continuity this young staff has. It will likely require even more leg work (no pun intended, but also not not intended) from LaFleur to make sure they’re all on the same page and his luitenants are able to effectively communicate what he needs them to whether he’s in a golf cart or on the sidelines.

It’s not as if LaFleur won’t be at practice or able to run film sessions, but there’s something different about actually getting to stand next to someone and show them precisely what is expected. This setback also comes with the schedule break in June before training camp opens in July, allowing the first-year head coach to get back on his feet for the most important practices of the summer.

No doubt when Russ Ball put together the finer points of LaFleur’s contract, he didn’t think a “no basketball” clause would be necessary. It would behoove LaFleur to consider working on his golf swing instead.