Just when everyone was starting to get excited about the return to action of Jordy Nelson, the wide receiver has been forced to spend the early stages of training camp on the sidelines with knee tendinitis. The injury is most likely a result of the veteran overcompensating following his ACL operation last year. The Green Bay Packers don’t appear overly concerned at the moment, still confident that the 31-year old will be ready in time for the start of the new season. Following another ultimately unsuccessful campaign, having such a key player back in contention for the opening game of the year would be a massive boost to the team and the fan base.
Having torn his ACL in the 2015 preseason, Nelson was forced to miss the entire 2015 campaign. The Packers have been careful not to rush Nelson back into action too soon. Despite being quick to calm fears that Nelson was set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines, the everyone has been questioning precisely when the team’s No. 1 receiver will be able to rejoin his teammates. While the franchise still managed to reach the playoffs without Nelson in 2015, the offense and quarterback Aaron Rodgers just weren’t the same.
Nelson recorded a sensational 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014, earning Pro Bowl status and establishing himself among the game’s best. Despite coming off such a lengthy layoff, many still feel the Nelson can pick up where he left off. Interestingly, he is priced at 14/1 in the NFL betting odds to gain the most receiving yards in 2016.
As long as Nelson is over his knee injury, that’s a very genuine possibility. He is far and away Rodgers’ favorite target and the best receiver on the team. The big question is, will Nelson be the same player he was before he snapped his ACL last August?
For a position that requires explosive speed and the ability to change direction instantly, an ACL injury is one of the worst a player can suffer. That said, rehab has come on a long way over the past decade, and a string of players have returned from the injury as good as they were before it.
Jeremy Maclin is probably the best recent example of a receiver coming back better after such an injury. Maclin tore his ACL in 2013 and missed the entire season. When he returned, he put up his best season to date with 85 catches, 1,318 yards and 10 TDs for the Eagles. He followed that with another 1,000-yard season in Kansas City in 2015.
If Nelson can rediscover similar form, the Packers are going to be serious contenders in 2016. While the Packers are contenders every season, the addition of a prolific wide receiver could be the key to making it over that final hurdle, something they haven’t managed since 2010.
Green Bay might have gotten better during the offseason, but that can be said of every team in the league (at least in theory). During the early part of the 2015 season, many felt the Packers would be the team to lift the Lombardi Trophy. Of course, Rodgers and Co. lost in the Divisional Playoffs to the Cardinals, a game they really should have won.
That disappointment will remain, but will serve as motivation in 2016. And Nelson, if he returns to form, could seemingly push the Packers over the top.
I love how people in the media don’t ever point out that Jordy is 31 years old. This guy has two or three more solid years left in him. He won’t be an All-Pro anymore and he will be lucky to get to bother pro bowl. Highly overrated receiver.
I love how you have to troll another team’s site and trash their best WR because Calvin Johnson got sick of playing with Matthew Stafford and quit. Just like Barry Sanders. “We’re not going anywhere. What’s the point?
” Classic example of trying to put someone down to prop yourself (and your shitty team) up. Well done, Dave!