Assuming the initial reports are correct and Jordy Nelson will miss the season with a torn ACL, the Green Bay Packers will have to find a way to replace that production at receiver.
We’re talking 90-plus catches, 1,500-plus yards and 13 touchdowns.
Easier said than done.
And let’s be honest, making up for that production is largely going to fall to Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. But then what?
Well, there’s really no need to panic. Just think back to last season.
The Packers really only had two receivers doing the heavy lifting for their offense then and they were just fine. Both Nelson and Cobb had more than 90 catches and 1,200 yards. The team’s next leading receiver was Adams, with 38 catches for 446 yards.
So the Packers could obviously get by with Cobb and Adams, providing rookie Ty Montgomery is able to give the team the sort of production Adams did in his rookie season.
Or, if the tight end position can give the offense anything at all, that would also be a big help.
But what are the Packers’ other options?
Here you go.
If this guy could ever get healthy and stay healthy, which we’re going to assume is impossible at this point, he certainly could contribute. The coaching staff has raved about his work ethic, route running and ability to pick up the offense. He’s going to need to shake the rust off, but it would be nice to see what Abbrederis can do. With Nelson potentially out, he may finally get that shot. Providing he can actually get on the field, of course.
The word on Janis is he’s nothing but a straight-line guy. He seemed to be alright working in tight spaces at times on Sunday, though. If he can continue to improve, then he has a huge opportunity in front of him because there’s playing time to be had. And unlike Abbrederis, Janis actually shows up and plays football on a daily basis.
The Colts decided they were done with Wayne following last season. Probably about time, too. The guy is 36 years old. No one wanted to give Wayne a free agent deal until the Patriots started sniffing around him this week. Wayne was in New England Monday and was taking a physical. If he passes, expect him to sign with the Pats. Unless the Packers can persuade him otherwise. There have been reports that they planned to call if Wayne didn’t sign with the Pats. And why not? He’s old, but he still caught 64 balls for 779 yards last season. The Packers could do a lot worse.
Like Wayne, Welker has been sitting around waiting for a team to call all offseason. Welker is 34 and watched his production and playing time decrease last year with Denver. He finished with 49 catches for 464 yards, his lowest totals since 2005. He also lost his starting job. The Packers were supposedly going to take a look at Welker if they had lost Randall Cobb in free agency. And that’s really the problem here. The Packers don’t need another slot receiver, which is what Welker is. They need a guy who can line up outside.
But James Jones is on the Giants… Yes, James Jones is on the Giants, but Jones is no lock to make the team. In fact, we’d be willing to bet he won’t make the team. The Giants top three are Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randall. If you look at New York’s depth chart, Jones is actually buried beneath not only those guys, but a bunch of clowns we’ve never heard of. He actually looks like he has zero chance of making that roster. So, the Packers could see what they have with the youngsters on their roster and if they don’t like what they see, sign Jones when he gets cut by the Giants. They would have to wait, obviously, but Jones knows the offense, so it wouldn’t be much of a transition for him to step back into it just prior to the regular season.