It was unsually mild last December 4 as Mike McCarthy took his Packers out on to Ray Nitschke field for practice. In a team drill, running back Kregg Lumpkin veered off tackle and collided with linebacker Jeremy Thompson. Thompson didn't get up. It would be his last play as a professional football player. An ambulance had to be called and Jeremy was taken to the hospital where doctors found a narrower than normal spinal column. The diagnosis of "stenosis" led to Thompson being placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. While he never lost consciousness, or suffered even the slightest form of paralysis, Thompson knew his career might be in jeopardy. He consulted several other specialists and they all came to the same conclusion. Furthering his NFL career could put him at risk for more serious damage. On Monday, the Packers announced they were releasing Thompson who in turn said he will retire from football. The former 4th round pick out of Wake Forest appeared ready to become a contributor to the Packers defense. He had an oustanding spring and mini-camp season but when the pads were put on in training camp, his production waned. While he played in 15 games, mostly on special teams, Thompson was never able to match his promise. In a statement, Thompson said, "I am thankful to the Packers organization and to the fans for their support during my time in Green Bay. The Packers are a first-class organization and I want to thank them for the opportunity to play in the NFL. There truly is no team I would have rather played for." Neck injuries are the scourge of the NFL and Thompson joins a Packers list that includes Tim Lewis and Sterling Sharpe who had their careers cut short by spinal cord injuries or deficiencies.
The Packers have resigned safety Charlie Peprah. He spent three years with Green Bay but was cut last summer after suffering a knee injury in camp. He was picked up by Atlanta and played in two games for the Falcons last season. Green Bay also released tight end Devin Frischknecht, an undrafted free agent who spent the entire regular season on injured reserve after breaking his leg in a pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills.