Packers DE Neal to undergo surgery

Posted Sept. 14, 2011 @ 6:34 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Mike Neal's injury problems continue to be a thorn in the Packers' side. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that Neal has undergone knee surgery and will be out "a significant amount of weeks."

McCarthy said Neal would probably not be placed on injured reserve. But there was no specific indication as to how long Neal would be out.

"He (Neal) has pass-rush ability," Packers star OLB Clay Matthews told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Wednesday after it was revealed Neal would be going under the knife. "I know he's frustrated, as well as this team."

Neal has not been able to stay on the field since being drafted in the second round last year. He started to come on strong after overcoming an abdominal strain that forced him to miss the first three games last season but was lost for the season a week after an excellent performance against the Redskins, when he tore his rotator cuff in practice.

This year's injury also occurred in practice, as he hurt his left knee in a non-contact drill during training camp.

The Packers believed Neal had the potential to replace the departed Cullen Jenkins as a quality inside pass rusher and make the same kind of progress B.J. Raji did in his second season. But that doesn't seem possible now that it appears he could miss at least half the season.

The way we see it

Here we go again. The injury bug has returned, and the Packers must hope their replacement parts come through as well as they did last season on the road to the Super Bowl.

With Neal out indefinitely, the onus is on Jarius Wynn, who had an excellent opener, and C.J. Wilson to pick up the slack at right end.