Defensive lineman Jerel Worthy is missing the start of Green Bay Packers training camp after being placed on the physically unable to perform list before the first practice.
Now we know why.
The Packers never disclosed why Worthy, a third-year pro from Michigan State, missed the offseason program and would only offer that he was placed on the PUP list because of a lower-back injury.
However, Worthy told reporters Wednesday that he had surgery in April.
“I had a little bit of cleanup on my lower back,” Worthy said. (per Green Bay Press-Gazette)
Worthy said he was hurt working out on his own in preparation for the offseason program.
“They wanted to make sure as far as my spine and the muscles around that everything was all right,” Worthy said. “Just make sure we get the right type of treatment and everything. I feel really good. I can do a lot of the things that they ask me to do as far as running, change of direction, lifting. I’m getting back to feeling like my old self.
“It’s like I said before, it all depends on how (general manager) Ted (Thompson) is feeling upstairs. He could let me practice tomorrow, could be next week. Either way, I’m ready to go, I’ve done what I’m supposed to do.”
Worthy, a second-round draft pick in 2012, made some contributions as a rookie, starting four of the 14 games in which he appeared and finishing with 14 tackles, 2½ sacks and a forced fumble.
But he tore an ACL in the regular-season finale at Minnesota in 2012 and missed all but two games last season, making one tackle in limited action.
The 24-year-old can be activated from the PUP list at any time during training camp, but if he is unable to pass a physical by the final cuts on Aug. 30, he would have to miss the first six weeks of the regular season.