Jarius Wynn headed to his locker wearing a pair of sunglasses.
The Green Bay Packers’ fourth-year defensive lineman wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement.
While having supper with B.J. Raji and a few other teammates a couple weeks ago, Wynn’s left eye began to water. When he went to the bathroom to take a look, he realized the eye wouldn’t close. He met with the Packers’ training staff and was sent to a specialist, who diagnosed him with a “mild case” of Bell’s palsy.
“It hasn’t slowed me down at all,” he said. “It is what it is. Hopefully, it’ll clear up sooner rather than later. They say it should be six or seven weeks it should clear up on its own. But you never know.”
According to WebMD.com, “Bell's palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop. The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.”
Future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez is among those afflicted with Bell’s palsy, as is former NFL and Wisconsin fullback Cecil Martin.
“I just have to wear shades, and I’ve got a dark visor on my helmet now. Other than that, I’m good,” he said.
— While nobody skipped the mandatory minicamp, several players were sidelined. Because it’s the offseason, coach Mike McCarthy does not have to detail who’s out and why. Here’s who was watching: safeties Charlie Peprah and Morgan Burnett, defensive linemen Johnny Jones and Mike Daniels, guard Jaymes Brooks and offensive tackle Derek Sherrod. Outside linebackers Clay Matthews and Frank Zombo were not wearing their helmets but jumped into individual and group drills. Safety Anthony Levine dropped out early in practice.
Asked specifically about Burnett, McCarthy said only that Burnett will be “fine” and “ready for training camp.”
— Last week, Denver’s D.J. Williams put some of his iPad playbook on Twitter. “I’d like to think no one would see our playbook,” McCarthy said. “We have a good playbook. Our graphic design is outstanding.”
— During a two-minute drill, the No. 1 offense drove 60 yards in about half the allotted 1:26 to score the winning touchdown. The score came when Aaron Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson from 25 yards, with Nelson making a leaping grab over Sam Shields in the end zone.
— Rodgers on franchise receiving leader and “Dancing with the Stars” champion Donald Driver: “He’s looking good. We got a couple new wrinkles that he missed when he was dancing his butt off, but he’s a fast learner (and) he’ll be fine. He looks good. He’s in incredible shape. He’s a professional every day on the practice field.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.