Earlier this week the Green Bay Packers waived injured Tight End and former Oregon Ducks player Colt Lyerla, but his story with the Packers, which some may have thought was over, is actually just beginning. The troubled young man left the Oregon Ducks last season, was then arrested in Eugene and ultimately went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, but one team gave him a chance at playing in the NFL and until last week he had a chance to make a statement.
In a non-contact drill Lyerla leaped over a defender, but when he landed it was awkward as he tore both the MCL and PCL effectively ending his season and his chances of seeing an NFL field this season. However the Packers saw enough upside from Lyerla to put him on injured reserve and keep him with the team throughout the season. The plan, according to ESPN, is to allow him to rehab his injury, but keep his mind sharp by keeping him involved in the game.
Lyerla will spend another year away from the field physically, but being around a team that cares about him at the pro level could go a long way for his future opportunities in the National Football League. If he can keep his troubles in the rear view mirror and have a positive outlook going forward 2015 could be a very good year for the man that many gave up on just last year. His redemption is not quite complete, but the road he has to travel to get there is now a lot shorter since he has found a home in the NFL with the Packers.