GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It's one thing for a proven player like Clay Matthews to miss the entire offseason program while recovering from his twice broken thumb.
Matthews has turned in Pro Bowl seasons before while missing major parts of the offseason and training camp because of hamstring injuries.
But for a player like Nick Perry, the Green Bay Packers outside linebacker who has yet to perform like the first-round pick that he was in 2012, the fact that he has been unable to participate in any on-field activities this offseason could prove to be another detriment to his development.
"I don't think it helps any player to miss a whole offseason," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday following the first practice of minicamp. "I talked about it last week with the staff. I told the team about it today. Our coaching staff took a different approach. You're accustomed to being a 15-week program. Obviously we're in a nine-week program going on here in Year 4 [of the new CBA]. To get all that work done, nothing changes. You have a season to get ready for. You have this much work. And to do it all in a nine-week period, and for a player to miss all of it, obviously it's not a good situation to be in.
"I think any of the players who did not take advantage of this nine-week opportunity or due to injury is definitely something they're going to have to work harder to catch up once training camp starts."
McCarthy would not specify the reason for Perry’s absence, but Perry missed five games last season because of foot and ankle injuries.
"I mean, he's injured, so. ..." McCarthy said.
There is frustration throughout the organization about Perry's inability to get on the field. He missed nearly half (15) of the 32 regular-season games in his two NFL seasons.
When asked what Perry is missing by being unable to practice, linebackers coach Winston Moss said: "Everything. Everything."
"It's unfortunate," Moss said. "It's disappointing."
In addition to Matthews and Perry, three other former draft picks have been unable to participate this offseason: defensive end Jerel Worthy, tight end Andrew Quarless and running back Johnathan Franklin.
Perhaps the biggest concern is about Franklin, the fourth-round pick from UCLA who finished his rookie season last year on injured reserve following a neck injury. The Packers are worried that Franklin's neck injury might be career-threatening. According to two people with knowledge of his situation, the Packers are putting Franklin through more tests to determine whether it's safe for him to continue playing.
Worthy, who last season played in only two games after coming off a torn ACL in the 2012 regular-season finale, missed the first two weeks of OTAs following the accidental shooting death of his grandmother in Ohio, but he also is dealing with an unspecified injury that is not believed to be related to his knee.
Quarless, who signed a two-year, $3 million contract to return to the Packers, also has not practiced. He missed all of the 2012 season because of a knee injury in 2011 but returned to play in every game last season, including 10 starts.