Concussion History May Derail Jared Abbrederis' Career

Green Bay Packers second-year receiver Jared Abbrederis is all about overcoming long odds.  Yet his latest medical setback, a concussion suffered during the first day of training camp, might indicate a greater risk of permanent injury and put an end to a promising NFL career before it even begins. 

Green Bay Packers second-year receiver Jared Abbrederis is all about overcoming long odds. 

Yet his latest medical setback, a concussion suffered during the first day of training camp, might indicate a greater risk of permanent injury and put an end to a promising NFL career before it even begins. 

Might these be odds too great to overcome?

Before the first training camp practice was in the books Abbredaris fell hard to the turf.  Later he was seen being escorted off the field by the team’s trainers.  The initial fear was that he had re-injured his surgically repaired leg which caused him to miss his entire 2014 rookie year. 

Later it was disclosed that he had suffered a concussion and was being held out of practice going through the NFL protocol for such injuries.

Abbrederis has a history of concussions having suffered “three or four” during his years at UW-Madison.

Should Abbrederis decide that the risk is too great to continue his NFL career he wouldn’t be the first.  Fellow Wisconsin Badgers team-mate Chris Borland stunned the San Francisco 49’ers by abruptly retiring shortly after the end of a successful rookie season for exactly the same reason.  He had suffered too many concussions during his playing days and made the difficult decision to retire before he suffered permanent brain injury.

Could the same decision be facing Abbrederis?

Prior to being selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFL draft there were concerns expressed by more than one NFL team regarding his history of concussions.

Going back to 2014 pre-draft discussion was this ominous fore-warning:  "That (concussions) is a concern," an NFC scouting director said. "And the way he plays and the way he is, that's not surprising. He'll probably always be banged up, and you'll be worried about him."

Bob McGinn the highly respected Packers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported at the time:

 Executives in personnel for four NFL teams expressed concern in the last week about what they described as Abbrederis' history of concussions.

It was the understanding of two scouts that Abbrederis suffered "three or four" concussions during his four-year career for the Badgers.

"I've heard it's three or four," a personnel director for an NFL team said. "I've got to find out the depth of it. I love him, but it makes me nervous."

McGinn also writes that Abbrederis said he only suffered one concussion.  Abbrederis insisted he has had only one concussion: September 2012 against Oregon State.

"And it wasn't even a bad one," said Abbrederis, who sat out the next game.

The former walk-on at Wisconsin is used to overcoming long odds.  Slightly built at 6’ 1” and 185# he crafted a highly successful career as a receiver, punt and kickoff-returner.  He owns UW's record for kickoff-return average (25.8 yards, 31 returns) and ranks fifth in punt-return average (10.7, 55 returns).

The Packers are loaded at receiver and Abbrederis is at best 5th or 6th on the current wide receiver depth chart.  If Abbrederis is to make his the team most feel that he will have to start by laying claim to the punt and/or kickoff return job.  Posting stellar return numbers for a team desperate for special-teams improvement could guarantee him a long and successful career in Green Bay or elsewhere.

But there’s a catch.

In the high-collision world of returning kickoffs and punts the chances for yet another concussion loom large on the horizon.  On special teams there is no place to hide and no room for timidity. And in the case of Jared Abbrederis, precious little time left to show that he belongs on this squad.

In the medical community the science of analyzing head trauma and concussions in particular is ever-evolving.   Most physicians and athletic trainers believe that repeated concussions may lead to more severe or longer-lasting symptoms. In addition multiple concussions might also lower an athlete's "concussion threshold"—that is the magnitude of the force required to cause another injury.

A favorite, Packers fans everywhere are rooting for Abbrederis to make the squad and star for the team that he has cheered for since a youngster growing up in nearby Wautoma.  Yet the fear is that to continue to play may result in permanent injury. 

An intelligent young man who previously recorded a 32 Wonderlic score, Abbrederis will surely have long discussions with doctors, trainers, coaches, family and friends as to the risk/reward of continuing his NFL career.  The hope is that he will resume his NFL career and never have to worry about another concussion.  But that is far from a given.

It would not be shocking to see Abbrederis make the tough call and walk away from the game he loves.

Should that be his decision, all of Packers-Nation will understand and wish him well.

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Comments (18)

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Nick Perry's picture

August 03, 2015 at 06:20 am

Thanks Jeff, nice piece. I for one was really looking forward to watching him play for the Packers. I can only imagine the disappointment the young man feels right now after his fight to get back in time for TC. The kid has always worked his butt off to get where he is today, so it would be a shame it's over before he even got started if he decided to walk away. If that's what he does who could blame him though I have a feeling he'll be back out there again once he's cleared. Good luck Abby!

Just a thought... Could you imagine a package with Janis and Nelson out wide, Cobb and Abby in the slots, and Montgomery lined up in the backfield? WOW!!!

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 03, 2015 at 09:20 am

I'd take Adams over Abby, but I still agree with you. Scary personnel package right there.

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Nick Perry's picture

August 03, 2015 at 09:18 pm

So would I.. LOL... I got so excited about the possibilities and forgot Adams! Damn this team is DEEP!!

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PittPackers's picture

August 03, 2015 at 06:35 am

Although I think he should hang up his cleats, Jared's ego (understandably) will prevent him from doing so. I do not share the same affinity others share for him (I didn't go to/root for UW), but I still hope he succeeds in life, if not with the Packers. Additionally, I hope he doesn't sacrifice his long term wellbeing for, potentially, marginal success in the NFL.

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Tarynfor12's picture

August 03, 2015 at 06:56 am

IMO,the best chance Abbrederis had to make the Packers was last season and regrettably for him he suffered the ACL injury,though a silver lining did take place,it allowed the Packers to keep Janis and not lose him via being claimed off waivers or signed from the PS had he actually won the spot on the roster.

This season,even if the concussion didn't befall him,I cannot help feel the competition he was facing and will still face after his concussion protocol is met would have him at a disadvantage that his size and history would have required an incredible camp to over take any of the already known position winners.

There will be many who speak of the 'ifs,supposes,imagines,etc' scenarios that have Abbrederis lined up somewhere and emphasized with a 'wow' and that's OK, but if any of those are to grow legs and come to reality,it will be for another team that has depth issues and aren't as cautious to player health long term as the Packers. :)

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MarkinMadison's picture

August 03, 2015 at 07:25 am

I'm with you. I've been pretty blunt about this topic from the get-go. It was fun for a lot of folks to see the local kid get drafted, I just hope he doesn't permanently damage his brain before he hangs it up.

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LouBen's picture

August 03, 2015 at 10:35 am

Hi Taryn.....you and I haven't always agreed on things but this we do. When someone's health....which is the #1 concern, is in question.....he needs to think long and hard about that. The coulda, shoulda, wouldas just don't matter since it's already done. I hope he can find some satisfaction also but only if he can stay healthy.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 03, 2015 at 07:22 am

Despite I do not live in Winsconsin and do not have any relation with people there (except from Packers internet
pages) I like Jared and still wish him to fight against odds to be on active roster or, at least, on PS this year...
But to put in jeopardy his health for the main period in his life is something he must not take lightly. If he chooses to stop career I will be sad, but I will support that decision...

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zeke's picture

August 03, 2015 at 02:03 pm

"For a skinny white guy..."

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Evan's picture

August 03, 2015 at 02:09 pm

Hook, line and sinker.

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zeke's picture

August 03, 2015 at 03:19 pm

I know. I tried not to, though. I really did.

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Evan's picture

August 03, 2015 at 02:19 pm

Holy shit, that Quarless news makes me sick to my stomach.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 03, 2015 at 02:39 pm

yeah, i can't imagine going through what he is right now.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 03, 2015 at 02:53 pm

Just learned about it.

I don't even know what to say...

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Denver's picture

August 03, 2015 at 04:12 pm

Easy for me to say, but here's hoping he gives it one more shot. Hopefully his run of bad luck is at an end.
And, while I'm no expert (and yes, I'm one of those Badgers fans who has followed his career) I firmly believe Abby will have a successful NFL career.

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johngalt's picture

August 03, 2015 at 11:51 pm

Great initial article. Bad chain of comments. Who is this Ted guy?

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Icebowler's picture

August 04, 2015 at 10:31 pm

As an avid reader, but only occasional commenter, here at CHTV I have just one request: Can we please cease and desist with all of the name calling?

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The TKstinator's picture

August 05, 2015 at 10:32 am

I get it
But
You can call me "TK" or "The TKstinator".
To those I would not object.

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