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Thursday, October 17, 2013
Starter Pack: The most bizarre injury of all

By Rob Demovsky

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

The Packers’ injury problems have been well documented, but this one -- the story of Charles Johnson -- almost goes beyond the imaginable.

Remember the news on Saturday, when the rookie receiver accepted an offer to leave the Packers’ practice squad and sign with the Cleveland Browns? To borrow a phrase from Chevy Chase’s character in the movie "Fletch," it was a smaller story, but I know you’ve been following it.

The story got a whole lot more interesting on Wednesday, when the Browns placed Johnson on the reserve/non-football injury list after they discovered he had a torn ACL and will need surgery.

This brings up several questions:
Johnson sustained a knee injury on the second day of training camp. He said at the time it was diagnosed as an MCL sprain, which typically heals in 2-4 weeks. Perhaps he actually had a torn ACL at that time, and the Packers missed it. Johnson, a promising but raw seventh-round draft pick from Grand Valley State, was so far behind when he returned from the injury that he never made a serious bid for a roster spot.

The Packers immediately signed him to their practice squad, and there was no indication of a problem. However, Johnson was absent from practice on Oct. 9. Practice squad players do not appear on injury reports. Johnson returned to practice the next day.

This likely won’t be the end of this story.