GREEN BAY, WIS. (AP) - Sometimes, Will Blackmon’s versatility even surprises his teammates.
“He looked up and said, ‘Safety?,’” Blackmon said. “He said, ‘I didn’t know you were at safety.’ I said, ‘Yeah, they’re not getting rid of me.’”
Blackmon spent the offseason preparing to move from cornerback to safety, although he’ll still try to get some snaps at cornerback when the Packers deploy their nickel and dime defenses. And he’ll try to play a featured role in the Packers’ return game.
If he can stay healthy, that is.
Blackmon is less than 10 months removed from surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament, the latest and most serious in a string of injuries that have held back the 2006 fourth-round pick out of Boston College.
Blackmon has been a sporadic participant in Packers camp so far. But he was practicing Tuesday after an extended absence, and insists he will be ready for the Sept. 12 opener at Philadelphia.
“It’s not even a concern about the opener,” Blackmon said. “The main thing is just make sure that I do this, come back strong, do it right. Because I will say this whole injury is a nine to 11 month (recovery). I’m in month nine. So I could sit there, be cool and be prideful, and be like ‘I came back in seven months, I came back in eight months,’ tell them how strong I am. The bottom line is, six-seven-eight-nine-10-11 months, as long as you’re ready by the first game, that’s the most important thing.”
“I had a chance to watch Will out there today,” McCarthy said. “He looks really good in the return game. It was good to have him back there. But Will is definitely a factor at the safety position and the corner position. It’s good just to get Will healthy and hopefully we can stack some practices with him.”
Injuries have limited Blackmon to only 32 regular-season games in four seasons.
Foot problems plagued him in 2006 and 2007 but he had a productive 2008, playing 16 games and scoring twice on punt returns. Then he sustained a season-ending knee injury in Week 4 last season.
“Unfortunately and fortunately, I’ve gone through something before,” Blackmon said. “Obviously this is the major one of them all, but I’m still here, I have confirmation from the doctors that I’m going to be back to elite form. Because that was my main concern when I got hurt, it was like, ‘Aw, man, will I be the same, will I be elite?’ And then as I started progressing, I started getting more and more confidence.”
Blackmon credits a unique nutritional program for his quick recovery this time around.
“I grew up, I had digestive problems, I lost my mother to Crohn’s, which is a digestive disease,” Blackmon said. “So my main thing is I wanted to make sure that my system was OK.”View Entire Story
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