Found June 19, 2013 on
Sports Blog Net:
The Green Bay Packers are no strangers to safeties with neck injuries, as former all-pro safety Nick Collins had his career cut short due to a freak neck injury suffered in week 2 of the 2011 season. Now, the Packers are living through a similar situation with second-year safety Sean Richardson, who made the team as a rookie free agent from Vanderbilt last offseason but had to undergo surgery in January for a cervical disk herniation.
Richardson suffered the injury back on November 25 in a game against the New York Giants, according to PackersNews.com, ending his rookie season after just 110 snaps and four tackles. The injury came at a particularly unfortunate time for Richardson, who just started to see game action for Green Bay after Charles Woodson was sidelined with his own injury.
Both the Packers and Richardson are optimistic that the injury is not as serious as the one that cost Collins his playing career back in 2011 but at this point that's all both sides can be is optimistic.
“It’s just a tough call right now,” Packers safeties coach Darren Perry said to PackersNews.com. “You like him, and I hope like hell we can have him, but some things are out of our control and we just have to wait and see on him.
“Obviously, he’s a guy that when you look at him, you see a lot of potential. When ‘Wood’ went down, I think he was starting to get some opportunities, and I think he showed why he belonged on our football team. But we just have to kind of wait and see. My fingers are crossed for him. I hope we can have him, but you just don’t know at this point.”
If healthy, Richardson would seem to be in a good position to make the Packers 53-man roster as the fourth safety behind Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian. At 6-2, 216 pounds the former undrafted free agent has prototypical size for the safety position and was very productive in college with 257 career tackles (18 tackles for loss), three and a half sacks, 11 passes defensed, one interception and one forced fumble.
Richardson is an excellent special teams player, which is where he made his biggest impact with Green Bay in 2012 but with very little experience at the safety position and no clear starter opposite Burnett -- the opportunity to create a role on the defense is there -- Richardson and the Packers just hope he is healthy enough to try and take advantage of it.
Yet, Richardson long-time friend and college teammate Casey Hayward has nothing but confidence that his fellow Vanderbilt alum will bounce back just fine.
When he told me it happened, it broke my heart because he’s a good friend of mine all the way back from Vandy,” Hayward said. “You always want somebody to succeed in life and he’s succeeding. He’s still here. He’s still beating the odds. His back is getting 100 percent and when he gets to be 100 percent, he’s going to show people.”
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