GREEN BAY – What began with some bad salmon ended up leaving Davon House being pushed in a wheelchair through the Las Cruces, N.M. and Minneapolis airports because he couldn’t walk in a straight line.
The good news for the Green Bay Packers cornerback? He’d sufficiently recovered from his illness that he was able to take part in his first practice of training camp on Tuesday. After missing all of the offseason following shoulder surgery to fix an injury that happened in the preseason opener last August, that was important.
“I’m getting there. With my shoulder, it felt 100 percent. With what I have (being sick), it’s getting there. I’d say I’m 85, 90 (percent),” said House, who got some first-team reps in his first practice because starting cornerback Tramon Williams (knee) and No. 3 CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) are out indefinitely. “With what I have and what I did, I’m impressed with myself. I look forward to being 100 percent. It’s going to be a great year.”
It just didn’t get off to a great start. House, who played collegiately at New Mexico State, was back in Las Cruces doing a football camp and went out to dinner on July 21. He says the salmon he ordered gave him food poisoning, which in turn led to an ear infection.
That ear infection worsened into a case of Labyrinthitis, which impacts the inner ear causing imbalance, dizziness or the sensation of the room spinning. House had all those symptoms to go along with the vomiting from the food poisoning, and he spent a fair amount of time on Google trying to figure out what was wrong with him.
“I couldn’t walk in a straight line, I wasn’t able to drive. It was tough,” House said. “It was kind of scary, too. But every day it’s been getting a lot better. I’m almost 100 percent now, which is good. I’m glad to be out there.”
The biggest issue was traveling from New Mexico to Green Bay. House couldn’t go from his arrival gate to his departure gate in Minneapolis, so he had to be delivered by wheelchair. Making matters worse was that his wife Leatricia wasn’t traveling with him.
“Usually my wife flies with me. The one time she doesn’t fly with me … it was miserable,” House said. “I’d never experienced anything like that before. As soon as I got here, the doc explained to me that eventually it would go away and it’s happened before (to other players).”
House said he lost about nine pounds while he was sick but was up to 194 pounds on Tuesday, about four pounds below his regular weight of 198. He estimated he was “85. 90 percent over the Labryinthitis.
Most important, House said, his shoulder felt fine in practice. He played with a harness all of last season before surgery after the season, and being able to play unencumbered is vital to him, he said.
“It felt like I threw (the shoulder) a few times and I don’t think I held back at all, but we’ll see when I look at the film if I hesitated at all. According to some of the receivers, I threw it out there,” House said. “It’s really to my comfort level. I wouldn’t doubt if you’d see me out there one day with (the harness) on. It’s always going to be in my back pocket, so if I ever feel like my shoulder’s a little sore, I’ll throw it on. (But) one of the trainers asked about my shoulder. I said, ‘Shoulder? Oh, I had shoulder surgery.’ It feels like I didn’t even have surgery.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.