While it’s probably unfair to compare Mike Daniels to Mike Neal, that won’t stop some fans from making the analogy after the rookie from Iowa left Tuesday’s practice with a groin and/or knee injury. Neal has played in only 10 games since joining the Packers in 2010. Daniels, whose durability was questioned by scouts prior to the draft, lasted less than three padded practices before being forced to the sideline.
Hopefully, Daniels’ injury is minor and he’ll be back practicing shortly. The undersized defensive end was off to a very good start in training camp. His quickness and relentless motor have made him tough to block. Then again, few questioned his ability to play. Most of the questions surrounded his ability to stay healthy.
“Durability needs to be considered – is not built to withstand a 16-week pounding and has been dinged up, including multiple concussions,” wrote Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki.
Coordinator Dom Capers doesn’t plan on playing Daniels more than 25 snaps a game, so the wear and tear on his body should be minimized. Still, he’s coming into the league with a history of injuries and he’ll be facing offensive linemen who outweigh him by 20 to 50 pounds on a weekly basis. That combo hasn’t worked out well for Neal so far. The Packers are hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself with Daniels.