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Will Jordy Nelson Make Fully Recovery from ACL Surgery?

A lot of people have been debating whether Jordy Nelson will be able to fully bounce back from his ACL injury.

The Green Bay Packers are certainly counting on that. There’s certainly reason to believe he will.

Below are some thumbnail sketches of other prominent players who faced the same challenge.

ACL = anterior cruciate ligament tear; MCL = medial cruciate ligament tear; Age = player’s age at end of returning season

Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers – torn ACL in preseason of 2015 – return date and performance unknown – age 32

Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings – torn ACL and MCL, Week 16 of 2011 – returned Week 1 of 2012 – age 27 – rushed for 2,097 yards, was NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots – torn ACL and MCL, Week 14 of 2013 – returned Week 1 of 2014 – age 25 – had 82 catches for 1,124 yards, 12 touchdowns, took limited snaps in early games

Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts – torn ACL and meniscus, Week 7 of 2013 – Returned Week 1 of 2014 – age 36 – 64 catches for 779 yards – missed one game due to elbow injury, also played with a torn triceps muscle

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles – torn ACL, preseason of 2013 – returned Week 1 of 2014 – age 26 – 85 receptions for 1,318 yards

Heath Miller, TE, Steelers – torn ACL and MCL, Week 16 of 2012 – returned Week 3 of 2013 – age 31 – played 14 games, with 58 catches for 593 yards

Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs – torn ACL, Week 2 of 2011 – returned Week 1 of 2012 – age 26 – 285 carries for 1,509 yards, 5.3 yard average, 35 receptions

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots – torn ACL and MCL, Week 1 of 2008 – returned Week 1 of 2009 – age 32 – threw for 4,398 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions

Some of these recoveries were as quick as 8 months (Peterson) or 9 months (Gronkowski). Jordy went down on August 23, so he’ll have over a year of recuperation when the regular season starts on September 11.

Of the above seven injuries, four involved both ACL and MCL tears – but not Jordy’s.

Of the seven players profiled, receivers Reggie Wayne and Heath Miller had average seasons, while the other five had very strong – if not their best ever performances upon their return.

You can reach your own conclusions, or you can simply wait and watch, as Jordy’s much-anticipated return to the practice field could happen this week.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. PACKATTACK August 15, 2016

    Rob —

    Most of the players you’ve listed there are (at least) 5-6 years younger than Nelson. The history of WR ACL tears, at Nelson’s age, and coming back from this injury are good — but the odds of him coming back and having a BETTER/more productive year than in his prime….are almost zero. In fact, the only WR in modern day NFL history who was close to Nelson’s age who tore his ACL, and came back to post similar-to-better numbers than before the injury was Jerry Rice at age 35. Beyond that — most WR who tear their ACL’s after 30 don’t come back stronger and post better numbers.

    I’m sure Nelson will be back on the field making catches come Week #1 — no doubt. But coming back to post better numbers than before (as some have suggested) no way.

    1. Amin Hersheys August 15, 2016

      @PackAttack u sure are a idiot. You salty ass Packers fans really think Jordy Nelson will cure the Packers offense this year? Y’all are smoking. He will never be good again and PackAttack and all you salty ass Packers fans say good bye to the success u guys had u guys will never see it again. PackAttack you are taking drugs. Fuck Green Bay sorry ass city of losses. Hahaha go Hawks! ??????

      1. NelsonCobb August 16, 2016

        Really dude?? Is your life that fcking pathetic, that you have nothing better to do than search Packers related articles just to be a loser ass troll?? You probably need to get laid, troll. What’s funny about all the BS you just spewed out your ass, in reality you know it’s exactly that, all BS!! Haha, Aaron Rodgers is about to get MVP #3, Super Bowl ring #2 and SB MVP #2, and it’s funny cause deep down you know it’s true. Get a life, troll!!

      2. Tucson Packer August 17, 2016

        Username; You are “in” Hersheys? For the amount of times you mentioned “drugs” and “smoking” I am sure you are in a rabbit hole of some kind, no doubt.

        Oh, Seachicken fan. Did you miss the part last season where the Packers already beat those Seacocks without Nelson?

        I do like how you ended your comment with emoticons, I have a teenage niece that does that all the time.

        Enjoy being a one hit wonder.


      3. Amin Hersheys August 18, 2016

        How many of you fudge Packers fans will unfollow all Packer Facebook pages and stop commenting on this page once Aaron Rodgers retires and when ur team starts tankin next couple of seasons?

      4. Deepsky August 22, 2016

        The Seahawks have tied up all salary cap into a bunch of defensive players in decline and one way overrated quarterback. After having several good drafts stealing Packer player knowledge, Schneider has nothing in the draft the last 3 years to replenish his team.

    2. Deepsky August 21, 2016

      I agree 100%. There have been receivers who have successfully returned from a torn ACL but those that have were a lot younger. Wes Welker is probably the only case where the receiver was close to 30 and had a big year after recovering from a torn ACL. Even he only lasted two more years on the Patriots.

      I expect Nelson will come back and play, but even if he remains healthy he’s not going to be the same guy.

  2. PF4L August 15, 2016

    I thought Jordy Nelson made a “fully” recovery from his acl surgery. Isn’t he on the pup list for his other knee?

    You may want to proof read the titles of your articles in the future.