A new report is indicating the Packers could be without offensive lineman Cole Madison indefinitely.
Madison was drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft and was with the team briefly for offseason programs following the draft. However, Madison failed to report to training camp as he dealt with personal matters away from the team. Michael Cohen of The Athletic wrote on Monday that Madison is still coping with the loss of close friend and former Washington State teammate Tyler Hilinski.
Hilinski took his own life in January of 2018 as doctors revealed the quarterback suffered from Stage 1 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE.
Madison made the choice to step away from the game that forever impacted his friend’s life with no timetable to return.
A source familiar with Madison’s situation told The Athletic Wisconsin, ““I don’t think he’s coming back. At least he’s not showing signs of it right now.”
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke with The Athletic Wisconsin at the the 2019 Senior Bowl reinsuring the team’s full support for Madison’s well being.
“Obviously we wish him the best and we’d love to, at some point, get him out there on the field to help us,” Gutekunst said. “But when that time is going to be, we’re not there yet.”
Gutekunst also stated the organization would not receive any compensation in the form of a future draft pick should Madison retire.
No one has heard from Madison or his family so Green Bay will likely plan to be without his services for the 2019 season. Madison played right tackle in college, but was expected to transition to guard in the NFL. The Packers have a pressing need at right guard and will probably have to look towards free agency and the upcoming draft for answers.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.