Green Bay Packers inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell revealed to Twitter on Thursday that the University of Minnesota player had actually played through a secret injury in 2022. According to Campbell, the linebacker never told anyone about a shoulder injury that he was dealing with, which might explain Campbell’s slow start last year. You can find Campbell’s full tweet down below.
I was just hitting my stride this game starting to feel like myself after dealing with a nagging shoulder that I never told anyone about and then I injured my knee the next game in Buffalo . I never question Gods plan but I’m feeling 100% healthy and everyone gotta deal with me https://t.co/lWbghdcK6J— De'Vondre Campbell (@Came_Along_Way) July 13, 2023
Campbell stated that he just started “to feel like [himself]” against the Washington Commanders in the Packers’ seventh game of the season, the same game in which he returned an interception for a touchdown. The following week, Campbell went down with a knee injury that cost him action in Weeks 9-12.
The linebacker’s story seems to check out, as you could argue that Campbell played better football (for the most part) following his in-season knee injury than the Week 1-Week 8 stretch that he played before the injury — certainly an oddity. The Packers’ defense was at its best when Campbell returned to the team in Week 13, as the team would then go on a stretch of five-straight games without giving up more than 20 points in an individual game. For perspective, Green Bay gave up 27.5 points per game when Campbell was missing from the starting lineup.
If you want something to look forward to in the 2023 season, a Campbell bounce-back season appears to be on the way. As Campbell put it at the end of his tweet, “I’m feeling 100 % healthy and everyone gotta deal with me.”
As we covered last month, the answer to if a rebound is coming for the inside linebacker unit is one of the biggest questions for the Packers this summer. Along with Campbell (at least in the first half of the season), fellow starting inside linebacker Quay Walker was disappointing in his rookie season of 2022. Hopefully, Walker will take that next step forward while Campbell returns to form in 2023.