Desmond Bishop’s career with the Green Bay Packers took off in 2010 when an opportunity presented itself.
Starting inside linebacker Nick Barnett went out with a season-ending wrist injury and Bishop took the job and ran with it. Barnett never got it back and was eventually released before the following season.
As Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports, Bishop is trying to avoid the same cruel fate after he missed the entire 2012 season following a serious hamstring injury in preseason. In two short seasons as a starter, Bishop had quickly emerged as the team’s top inside linebacker. Now, the Packers have re-signed replacement Brad Jones to a nice contract — $11.75 million over three seasons – and restructured the deal of veteran A.J. Hawk, suggesting he will stick around for at least the 2013 season.
It puts Bishop, who has yet to be cleared for a full return, in a difficult spot. But the team couldn’t wait, hoping for him to be the same player again this season.
“It’s not like my job to say who plays and who doesn’t,” Bishop said, according to Demovsky. “All I can do is get healthy to my full potential and get back out there.”
With Bishop set to earn nearly $4 million this season, it is fair to wonder if the team will want to commit that much money to a reserve player in the event Bishop does not reclaim a starting job. There were rumors that Bishop was being shopped earlier in the offseason but he told Demovsky he never believed those to be true.
Could that change when Bishop is healthy? It would probably be hard to find a taker with that kind of base salary. The bottom line is Bishop, 28, needs to be cleared to get back on the field so the team can first determine where he is at.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune