The Packers drafted guard Cole Madison in the fifth round of last year’s draft, but he stepped away from the team before training camp to deal with what was described as a personal matter and did not return before the year was over.
It’s unclear if Madison will return in 2019. Michael Cohen of The Athletic reports that the suicide of his Washington State teammate Tyler Hilinski and subsequent revelation that Hilinski had CTE were the impetus for his decision to remove himself from the game.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst didn’t confirm that was the reason for Madison’s departure, but did confirm that there’s no return date in sight.
“He’s still dealing with some of the things that he was dealing with at the beginning of the season last year,” Gutekunst said. “Obviously we wish him the best and we’d love to, at some point, get him out there on the field to help us. But when that time is going to be, we’re not there yet.”
Cohen reports that the Packers are “navigating the offseason with an understanding” that Madison won’t be in the picture in 2019 either.