GREEN BAY – Jarius Wynn walked out of the shower after Tuesday’s minicamp practice wearing sunglasses. It turns out that the Green Bay Packers defensive end wasn’t just goofing around or acting cool.
Rather, Wynn said he was diagnosed two weeks ago with a mild case of Bell’s Palsy, which causes paralysis or weakness in one side of a person’s face. It’s caused by damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face, resulting in that side of the face drooping. The condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.
That’s exactly how it played out for Wynn, who was out to dinner with fellow defensive lineman B.J. Raji and other teammates when it struck him. It’s a mild case because only Wynn’s left eye has been affected.
“I was at Longhorn (Steakhouse) – me and B.J. (Raji) and a couple other guys. We’re there eating, and my eye was real watery, and I went to the bathroom and I tried to close it and it wouldn’t close,” Wynn explained Tuesday. “It kind of freaked me out. So I came here (to Lambeau Field) to the training room, and they thought I was playing with them. I was like, ‘No, my eye really won’t close.’ They started naming symptoms and they knew what it was. So they sent me to a specialist and he told me it’s a real mild case.”
Wynn’s participation in practice has not been affected; his eye is simply sensitive to light because it now closes but does so slowly. As a result, he’s wearing a dark visor on his helmet in practice and walking around the building in sunglasses – including coming out of the shower.
“Other than that, I’m good. It hasn’t slowed me down at all,” Wynn said. “Hopefully it’ll clear up sooner rather than later. They say it should be six or seven weeks it should clear up on its own. But you never know.”
Wynn said he’s taking an antibiotic and a “light steroid” prescribed by doctors to help the healing process.
“It was kind of scary at first,” Wynn said. “I’m just glad it didn’t get bad.”
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