Jordy Nelson’s first game action in over a year came in week 1, when the Green Bay Packers played the Jacksonville Jaguars. Exactly as we all expected, Nelson looked rusty. He wasn’t able to get the separation that made him one of the best receivers in the game in 2014.
The resulting output was six catches for just 32 yards. Things picked up in week 2 (5 for 73) and then reached a nice pre-bye-week peak in week 3 (6 for 101).
We had been pretty critical of the Green Bay Packers’ plan to rest their stars for the majority of the preseason. At least on offense, you can see there has been a lack of continuity or chemistry or whatever you want to call it, through the first three weeks.
Coach Mike McCarthy will probably never admit that was a mistake (and the second half of the season will really be more telling), but he did speak to how tough it was on Nelson, on Monday.
“I think the expectations on him were unrealistic, and I think he’s exceeded the reality that we had for him,” McCarthy said. “We took the safe high road bringing him back and it worked,” McCarthy said.
“I think he’s doing a heck of a job with the schedule he was on coming back. We took as much risk out of it as we could. But that was a big challenge for him.”
We completely understand the Packers being risk-averse. Not having Nelson last season was a disaster.
Why play him in preseason at all? Why play anyone in preseason? That decision clearly made it tougher for him to get his legs back though.
Three games in, he’s starting to show flashes of the old Jordy Nelson. We have no idea if he’ll ever return to 2014 form, but he has been moving in the right direction.