Packers LB Oren Burks avoids surgery, might return this season

While a torn pectoral muscle will prevent Oren Burks from suiting up in the near future, the linebacker might still play this season. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein, Burks’ injury will not require surgery, opening the door for a return at some point in 2018.

Burks suffered the torn pectoral muscle during the Green Bay Packers’ preseason opener against the Houston Texans. The Packers ruled out Burks soon after his departure, leaving James Crawford and rookies Ty Summers and Curtis Bolton to finish the game. The injury marked Burks’ second significant injury incurred during a preseason, having dislocated his shoulder during an exhibition game last year.

Because the Packers do not yet have a timetable for Burks’ return, the linebacker could still end up on injured reserve. The team can place him on IR once final cuts conclude on Aug. 31, allowing Burks the opportunity to return to the roster once a minimum of eight weeks have passed. Green Bay took that approach this past year, placing wide receiver Jake Kumerow on IR on Sept. 3 and activating him off IR on Dec. 1.

It does not appear the Packers plan to replace Burks with a player from outside the organization. Since the injury, Bolton has spent the most time with the No. 1 defense in practice. Summers also remains a replacement candidate, as do Crawford and hybrid safeties Raven Greene and Josh Jones.

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