Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson warms up for an NFL
preseason football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday,
Aug. 23, 2015, in Pittsburgh. Nelson was injured in the first
quarter. Nelson landed awkwardly while trying to cut after
making an 8-yard reception on Green Bay's opening drive and did
The Green Bay
Packers' worst fears about the severity of receiver Jordy Nelson's
knee injury have come true.
The team said Monday
only that the star receiver suffered a "significant right knee
injury" that would cost him the season. Nelson, one of the top
targets for NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was injured Sunday in a
preseason game at Pittsburgh.
to lose a guy like that in a meaningless game," Rodgers said
after the 24-19 loss to the Steelers.
Coach Mike McCarthy
was hoping for better results from more tests on Nelson's knee in
Green Bay on the team's' off day on Monday. But Rodgers' somber tone
after the game foreshadowed the bad news for one of the league's best
The Packers, one of
the top contenders in the NFC, will be without a playmaker who set
career highs in receptions (98) and yards receiving (1,519) in 2014.
Nelson had 13 touchdown catches last year and 43 over the last four
He and Randall Cobb
formed one of the top receiving duos in the league, each catching more
than 90 passes last season. Nelson is also one of the most respected
veterans in the locker room for his leadership and work ethic.
While limited during
the offseason following minor hip surgery, Nelson could often be found
with a play sheet in hand and offering tips to younger receivers.
"Jordy Nelson is
a key member of our football program both on the field and of the
field, probably more so off the field," McCarthy said in
Pittsburgh. "He's a great player ... tremendous in the locker
room, tremendous family man."
The Packers have
depth at receiver, but lack experience after Cobb.
player Davante Adams, who has had a good offseason and training camp,
moves up as the No. 2 receiver behind Cobb. Rookie Ty Montgomery, who
has impressed so far in practice, moves up to third receiver.
Myles White, who
played seven games with the Packers in 2013, has also had a good camp.
The 6-foot-3 Jeff Janis, a second-year player, has size but has been
inconsistent. Jared Abbrederis has been sidelined by a concussion.
is) here or not, guys have to step up. And I'm one of those guys who
has to be ready for anything. An opportunity is always going to be
there, no matter what else is going on," Rodgers said.
But no one has the
kind of rapport that Nelson, entering his eight season, has cultivated
with Rodgers. He has developed a knack for making seemingly impossible
catches along the sideline and catching deep balls from Rodgers.
It's that skill that
made Nelson and Cobb such a formidable duo, with Cobb often able to
get open over the middle for big third-down plays.
The emergence of
second-year tight end Richard Rodgers, who has also stood out in camp,
could help ease the loss of Nelson. The Packers also have one of the
best offensive lines in the league and punishing running back Eddie