With much speculation over Jordy Nelson’s ability to bounce back from his ACL injury, it was great for fans to see him in the uniform again during morning practice. It was nothing but a warm-up and it will still be some time before he’s available for competitive action again, but to see him out there catching passes should warm the heart of all Green Bay Packers fans. Nelson should also prove to be a good bet for fantasy sports fans as they look to pair the best players with the best fantasy sports deals on the market, given he was a top-two fantasy receiver some 12 months ago.
Nelson has been sidelined since he tore the ACL in his right knee. The incident happened during a week 2 preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nelson caught an eight-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers, but then fell to the turf without contact. He limped to the sidelines with an apparent knee injury and did not return to the game. It was a blow for the player and Packers’ fans as he looked set to continue his record-breaking progress of 1,314 receiving yards in 2013 and 1,519 in 2014.
Nelson will now have a few weeks of practice to prepare himself for the Packers’ regular season opener when they pay a visit to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’ll be working under close scrutiny and chiefly doing individual drills. That work will hopefully progress to getting his footwork and general shape back to what it should be, in time for a season of great expectations for both Green Bay and their No. 1 wide receiver.
Nelson is surely hoping to be available for the trip to Jacksonville and it should provide a good run-out for him before the more difficult test in week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings. With around three weeks to prepare for the regular season opener, it is essential that Nelson begins to build a connection with QB Aaron Rodgers. That partnership is one all Packers’ fans will be looking forward to, though Rodgers has also only participated in warm-ups and didn’t see any action in the preseason against the Raiders. That match finished 20-12, but in truth the game was not that close, as the Raiders looked lackluster and lacking in cohesion compared to the Packers. Eddie Lacy strolled into the limelight with nine carries for 45 yards and capped off his display with a 1-yard touchdown dive on 3rd-and-goal.
It’s off to San Francisco next and a trip to the Levi’s Stadium should provide a better indication of how the Packers will perform this season.
The NFL history of receivers coming back from ACL tears, at Nelson’s age, and putting up good numbers are good. Yet there are surely concern that he’ll be unable to find his previous form and the odds of him coming back from this injury more productive than 2013-2014 are almost zero. The Packers camp seems sure Nelson will be back on the field making catches come week 1, but others might need to perform above their previous levels, to take some of the pressure off him. Jeff Janis enjoyed some attention during the playoffs and this could be his season to make an impact. Combined with Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jared Cook it could be a standout season for the Packers.