Now-healthy Packers LB issues warning to rest of league

De'Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
De'Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Green Bay Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell revealed he was hurt all of last season and issued a warning to the rest of the NFL for 2023. 

Back ahead of the 2021 season, the Green Bay Packers took a flier on veteran linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. That turned out to be one of the best gambles of the year in the NFL. Campbell performed as one of the best linebackers in football, earning First-Team All-Pro honors for the first time in his career.

Naturally, the Packers elected to re-sign him to a five-year, $50 million extension ahead of the 2022 campaign. But Campbell took a step back, playing in only 13 games and, though he was still objectively good, he was graded as just the 15th-best linebacker in the league by PFF (subscription required) while registering 96 combined tackles, 50 fewer than the previous year.

But Campbell has a good reason for that: He was hurt.

When a Twitter user posted a clip of Campbell returning an interception 59 yards for a touchdown, the Packers standout quote-tweeted it, saying that he was dealing with a shoulder injury prior to that game, then hurt his knee immediately after. But now he says he’s back — and the rest of the league is on notice.

Packers LB De’Vondre Campbell on being healthy: ‘Everyone gotta deal with me’

Obviously, much of the offseason in Green Bay has been focused on the transition at quarterback from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love. But to put the young signal-caller in the best position to succeed, the defense needs to take a step forward.

Campbell being healthy and performing at an All-Pro level would be a huge help for that, especially if second-year linebacker Quay Walker can also take a step forward, which seems likely given the coaching staff’s plan for him put forth this offseason.

There are plenty of playmakers on the Packers defense. And while the health of Rashan Gary might be a bigger story as Green Bay hopes he can return at full strength soon, the fact of the matter is that Campbell is perhaps just as vital of a part of the equation. So if he says he’s healthy, we have to believe him.

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