Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod has only played in five games as he enters his third NFL season.
Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod has only played in five games as he enters his third NFL season.

I don’t claim to have a medical degree nor do I know the inner workings of the human anatomy.

However, I do know that missing 22 months of football action is a long time and that’s exactly how long it’s been for Packers offensive tackle Derek Sherrod.

You remember him right?

In case your internal RAM is running a tad slow, Sherrod was the sixth tackle selected in the 2011 NFL Draft when the Packers took him with the 32nd and last pick of the first round. Sherrod started 35 games at Mississippi State but many scouts wondered whether he had the mean streak to succeed at the NFL level.

Things didn’t exactly go very well for him right away. Sherrod got beat out by T.J. Lang at left guard in the preseason and then in Week 15 he broke his right tibia and fibula. So he was done for the rest of 2011, but he also missed all of 2012. And if that’s not enough, he had another offseason surgery to repair his ankle so he could put weight on his leg again.

So, the 24-year-old is entering his third NFL campaign and he’s only played in five NFL games.

All I’m saying is, temper your enthusiasm. You’re going to hear colorful, motivational language in the coming weeks from coach Mike McCarthy about how excited he is to see him on the practice field or perhaps how impressed he is by his work ethic.

That’s all fine, but Sherrod won’t be the same player. After Tamba Hali fell on his lower leg, causing havoc to his lower half, Sherrod’s NFL career arc took a precipitous drop.

But starting today, the Packers have three weeks to figure out if they see a glimmer of hope or if it’s time to cut bait and move on. Sherrod knows he’s got Mount Everest to climb after missing so much time.

However, general manager Ted Thompson cannot give him any favors just because of awful luck. The offensive line has been responsible for at least 80 percent of the 216 sacks Aaron Rodgers has endured since being anointed as the starter.

Now isn’t the time to be the nice guy. Work him out. See what he’s got. But have the courage to stick to your guns if you aren’t impressed.

I don’t care if you cut grass or drive semi trailers, if you miss nearly two years, you’re not going to the same person.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn