Former Maryland linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield will attend rookie minicamp this week with the Green Bay Packers, the culmination of his journey back from a torn ACL suffered in 2012, an individual with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
During and after last year’s NFL draft, Hartsfield’s knee caused teams to balk at the former second-team all-ACC selection, and he wasn’t selected this year, either. The Cleveland Browns offered Hartsfield a minicamp spot in 2013, but he declined due to the stage of his recovery.
“It really was the best decision,” Hartsfield’s mother, Tracy, said then. “You can’t rush things. If they’re going to come, they’re going to come. And his time is coming.”
Then came a workout with Green Bay last October, alongside five other linebackers performing combine drills. Hartsfield impressed, but the Packers wanted someone to play right away, and Hartsfield’s knee wouldn’t allow him to do that just yet.
“It was very bittersweet,” Hartsfield said later. “That’s the perfect word.”
With that all behind him, Hartsfield will finally get his shot. He leaves Thursday and will return Saturday, joining former teammates Isaac Goins (Miami Dolphins), Marcus Whitfield (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Dexter McDougle (New York Jets). The injury that happened on Nov. 3, 2012 against Georgia Tech, suffered on a cut block while defending the triple option, is a distant memory.