GREEN BAY – Packers cornerback Kevin King will undergo surgery on his injured shoulder, Head Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed during his news conference prior to Thursday’s practice.
King had been dealing with the shoulder issue for the past month prior to being placed on injured reserve Wednesday. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound cornerback missed the Baltimore game before trying to play through it against Pittsburgh on Nov. 26. He finished the game, but didn’t practice leading into last Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.
King, the 33rd-overall pick in this year’s draft, registered 28 tackles and five deflections in nine games (five starts).
“He’s a tough young man. No doubt about it,” McCarthy said. “He’s been dealing with it for quite some time. Playing with the harness and trying to gut it out. I think it speaks volumes. It just obviously got to the point where it was time to do more scans and things like that, and the decision has been made for surgery.”
The Packers activated cornerback Demetri Goodson from the physically unable to perform list after placing King on injured reserve Wednesday. However, McCarthy said Goodson will be a “long shot” to play against Cleveland as he remains in the "trial-return" phase with a hamstring injury.
Green Bay’s secondary also was missing vetern cornerback Davon House at Wednesday's practice after injuring his shoulder against the Buccaneers. McCarthy said House will be part of the rehab group Thursday.
Along with third-year cornerback Damarious Randall, Packers have three young reserves on the active roster in Josh Hawkins, Lenzy Pipkins and Donatello Brown. Safety Jermaine Whitehead also chipped in as a slot cornerback against Tampa Bay with Randall following DeSean Jackson.
Hawkins, who started in place of House against Minnesota in Week 6, has 21 tackles, six deflections and a forced fumble this season.
“They’re ready. They’ve been on the 53,” said McCarthy of his young defensive backs. “They’re practicing. Everybody is ready. We have no choice but to be ready. That’s how the season goes and the challenges all teams undergo with injuries. It’s Week 13. They’re ready.”
McCarthy said he has been pleased with the progress quarterback Aaron Rodgers has shown in practice and the spark he's provided to the entire team.
“I thought his work was good. The competitive level is an obvious as he steps on the field,” McCarthy said. “He brings the level of competition up with the energy he brings to the practice field. The ability to get out there, move around.”