The Green Bay Packers confirmed reports that wide receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a serious knee injury (torn ACL) and will miss the remainder of the season.
Nelson, who has tallied 1,000 yard receiving seasons in three of the last four years and caught 43 touchdown passes over the last four years, will be sorely missed. Fellow starter Randall Cobb is dedicating the season to his teammate. Cobb said via Twitter: “I’m going to miss lining up next to my bro this year. He has been one of the most influential players I have ever played with on and off the field. I’m dedicating this season to him.”
The Packers will return to the practice field today and will start the process of figuring out who fits where, among the remaining players to try to fill the spot that opened with the loss of Nelson.
Before training camp started, the Packers were the pick by many to win Super Bowl 50. The loss of Nelson won’t help that cause, but it doesn’t have to mean the Packers chances end here.
The Packers still have one of the league’s top receivers in Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams not only got his feet wet in the NFL last season and has had an outstanding training camp this year. The Packers used a third round draft pick on Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery. He’s had a good training camp, but he’ll have to grow up fast to take on the responsibility that could be headed his way.
Jeff Janis already has a season under his belt and his size and speed are a good fit for the Packers system. The Packers also have Myles White, who has already been cut twice in previous seasons. Nelson’s injury may have given White a chance to stick around and show off his 4.4 speed.
The Packers have other things going for them, especially the emergence of second year tight end Richard Rodgers. Rodgers has had his best training camp and figures to be a much larger part of the offense this coming season. While he can’t stretch the field like Nelson could, Rodgers will likely help offset some of the receptions that the Packers would lose with Nelson’s injury.
The Packers will need to count more on their running game as well. They may have to go about things differently, but there’s no reason by the end goal, winning Super Bowl 50, can’t still be attained.