LaFleur suffers torn Achilles

Injury will change his style of coaching on field

Mike Clemens
May 31, 2019 - 4:43 pm

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Green Bay, WI - Even though the football season is still 100 days away, there is a sense of urgency during the Green Bay Packers OTA practice sessions.

"Gosh, I mean, the OTA's are already halfway over," said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who says the goal is to have covered all, or nearly all, of Matt LaFleur's playbook before the players have a five week break following their mandatory mini-camp in mid-June.   

During practice this week, head coach Matt LaFleur would dip his head into the huddle to listen closely how quarterback Aaron Rodgers was calling the play using the new langauage from the LaFleur offensive system.

Then, as the offense broke the huddle, the head coach would quickly jog across the line of scrimmage and line up on the defensive side, at about the spot a strong safety might line up, to see how the play he and Rodgers just called developed. 

On one snap, veteran tight end Jimmy Graham ran a route to the back of the end zone. 

LaFleur didn't like the angle and zipped up to Graham to make an instant correction on the tight end's approach to the route. 

“I’m just kind of going out there, doing what I think is necessary,” LaFleur said after practice. “I think the key for all our guys is just trying to get them to learn the details of the play, because that’s where the beauty lies. That’s where I think you can take your game to a new level if you understand exactly what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. So I’m just focused kind of in the guys’ ears and just challenging them to dig into the details.”

That coaching style will change now that LaFleur has suffered a torn Achilles tendon that will require surgery this weekend. 

The 39-year-old LaFleur was apparently playing some basketball in the team's gym facility at Lambeau Field, when he injury occured during a game of "Knockout" defined as every player gets into a single line, and the first two players have a basketball. Players must shoot until they score. If the person behind you scores before you, you’re out. If you score before the player behind you, join the end of the line.

The typical full recovery time for a torn Achilles tendon is six months.

LaFleur will strive to be able to stand on the sidelines when the team has preseason games in August, 3 - 1/2 months away. 

VIDEO: We asked Packers running back Aaron Jones on how it's been learning the new play book, and his reaction to LaFleur working the field during practices.