The news on Green Bay Packers receiver Jeff Janis isn’t getting any better.
We projected Janis would be out at least three weeks after suffering a fracture in his hand last week. That was, if he didn’t need surgery.
Well, he had surgery and the timetable for his return is now four to six weeks.
As we already assumed, Janis won’t play again in the preseason. He also won’t be available until after the regular season starts.
“I haven’t even thought about that really,” Janis said Monday. “I’m just going to focus on healing up and being ready when I’m ready. I haven’t really thought that far into the future. I’m just going to try to get better.
“They say four to six weeks, but it could be sooner than that, it could be longer. It all depends on how it heals.”
Janis was referred to as a “work in progress” as a receiver by offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett last week. That obviously speaks to the fact that the Packers still don’t think Janis is ready to contribute in that role.
And if not now, when?
We’re not going to write Janis off just yet, but this hasn’t really gone as planned. Janis was supposed to stake his claim as the Packers’ No. 3 receiver this year. He hasn’t.
Now he won’t even get the full opportunity to do so.
The Packers soon will have a decision to make. Do they keep Janis on the final roster, hoping he can return a week or two into the regular season? Do they start him on the physically unable to perform list? That option would put Janis out the first six games. Do they put him on injured reserve with the designation to return?
That last option seems like a waste. Especially to use right away on a guy who could be back in week 2 or 3.
We would assume the first option.
Of course, there’s always the unthinkable. The Packers could just give up on Janis and release him.
We doubt that will happen. Even if they don’t think he can contribute, the Packers are more likely to use the PUP list or injured reserve to shelve Janis. That would allow them to make a decision at a later date.
And even that seems like a long shot.
Janis is still the Packers’ best special teams player. That alone should give him a roster spot.