After playing nearly every game of his four-year career at Boston College, Will Blackmon has struggled to stay on the field since being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round in 2006.
The Rhode Island native has dealt with a litany of injuries during his NFL career, the most recent a torn left ACL in Week 4 last year; in all, Blackmon has now missed more games to injury (35) than he has been able to play in (32).
Speaking with the Packers' team website recently, Blackmon feels this is a crucial season for him.
"It's an interesting period for me," he said. "This year I feel like I'm the one on the team who has the most to prove out of anybody. I think my time is overdue."
Despite the injuries, Green Bay must still believe in Blackmon: it offered him a restricted free agent tender, though it was the original-round tender, meaning the Packers would have received a fourth-round draft pick from any team which signed him to an offer sheet.
Coming off major knee surgery, that wasn't likely to happen, and Blackmon wasted little time signing the tender.
When healthy, Blackmon is a very effective return man for the Packers (his three career punt returns for a touchdown ties Desmond Howard for most in franchise history), but he would like to improve as a defensive back as well, whether that means at nickelback or as a safety.