Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Thursday that the Packers put King, their top draft pick this year, on injured reserve a day earlier because he needs surgery on his ailing left shoulder — an injury that has bothered him all season and dates to his college days at the University of Washington.
“He’s a tough young man, no doubt about it,” McCarthy said Thursday. “He’s been dealing with it for quite some time. Just playing with the harness and trying to gut it out, I think it speak volumes. It just obviously got to a point there where it was time to do more scans and things like that, and the decision has been made for surgery.”
King, a second-round pick (No. 33 overall), had hoped to avoid surgery until after the season.
“I appreciate the fact of what he’s gone through from an injury standpoint, just fighting to get out there each and every week,” McCarthy said. “I think he’s a fine, fine young player.”
Meanwhile, House will work in the rehab group Thursday after he missed Wednesday’s practice because of a shoulder injury suffered in Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers. He played all but two snaps in that game.
If House can’t play, the Packers would be without two of their top three cornerbacks.
Any help from Goodson, who was activated off the physically unable to perform list and replaced King on the roster more than a year after he blew out his left knee, is likely at least a week away. He suffered a hamstring injury during his work in practice while still on the PUP list.
It leaves the Packers with two experienced healthy cornerbacks — Damarious Randall and Josh Hawkins. The other two corners on the roster, Lenzy Pipkins and Donatello Brown, are undrafted rookies. Pipkins has played just 47 snaps all season on defense, but that’s 47 more than Brown, who has not appeared in a game since he was promoted from the practice squad on Nov. 3.
Last week defensive coordinator Dom Capers moved starting safety Morgan Burnett to the slot cornerback position in his nickel package and inserted rookie Josh Jones at Burnett’s safety spot. In the dime package, Capers used another safety, Jermaine Whitehead. For most of the year, Randall moved inside to the slot in the nickel.
“With our situation in the secondary right now, we just felt that gave us the best lineup on the field,” Capers said. “So [Burnett] moved out there. I thought we did a nice job for him not being out there in a while. It enabled us to play Damarious outside at the corner position, since we were missing Kevin.”