GREEN BAY – The huge scar extends along the right side of Desmond Bishop’s right knee, a straight line with a series of dots on each side of it. The Green Bay Packers inside linebacker may not have a single regular-season snap to show for his 2012 season, but he certainly has the scar to show what he’s given to this team.
Bishop tore the hamstring tendon in the team’s Aug. 9 preseason opener at San Diego and landed on season-ending injured reserve. Initially, he’d held out hope that he’d be eligible for the new IR rule that allows a team to bring one player back later in the season – the Packers used their designation on running back Cedric Benson after his Lisfranc foot sprain Oct. 7 – but admitted Monday that he probably would not have realistically been able to take advantage of it.
“It was always a longshot,” said Bishop, who has watched his replacement, D.J. Smith, also land on IR with a season-ending knee injury suffered Oct. 14 at Houston. “I think it was a good call, the safe call.”
As for his progress, Bishop said he has mobility back in his knee and hamstring.
“Now I’m in the process of getting more flexibility and strength back,” Bishop said. “That’s the step I’m at right now – getting it back functioning the way it used to and strengthening it at the same time. Then I can start to run and really start focusing on explosion stuff.”
Bishop said he has no doubt that he’ll be 100 percent when the offseason program begins in spring. For now, he’s happy to simply support his teammates.
“It’s part of the game. It happens all the time where someone goes down and someone has to step up,” said Bishop, who got his starting shot during the Super Bowl XLV season of 2010 when Nick Barnett, who was ahead of him on the depth chart, suffered a season-ending wrist injury. “I’m excited about the guys who are getting opportunities, because that’s the same way I came up. It’s fun to watch.”
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