this Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback
Aaron Rodgers, right, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, center and
wide receiver Randall Cobb stand on the sideline before an NFL
preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in Green
Bay, Wis. Randall Cobb bulked up. And now that Jordy Nelson is
back from a knee injury, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a full
supporting cast again in Green Bay. The Packers have the
pieces to make another Super Bowl run.
GREEN BAY — Jordy
Nelson's knees aren't going to keep him from playing football on
How much the
receiver is on the field in the Green Bay Packers' season opener at
Jacksonville may simply come down to how much he can stand the heat.
is ready and eager to play for first time in more than a year.
football," Nelson said Tuesday in a brief response when asked
if his knees were an issue.
Nelson tore the ACL
in his right knee in a preseason game last summer at Pittsburgh, an
injury that knocked him out for the 2015 season.
He arrived this
preseason with what he described as
a minor issue in his left knee. It was concerning enough to the
coaching staff that Nelson only started practicing again a few weeks
ago. He didn't play in any preseason games.
"Would it have
been better going through camp? Yeah, probably. It wouldn't have
hurt," Nelson said. "But I'm not worried about it, I don't
think anyone in this locker room is worried about it.
He sat in on
meetings. On the field, when he wasn't practicing, Nelson looked
like a coach, as he watched plays and interacted with other
Nelson is one of
the best in the business when healthy. In his last full season in
2014, Nelson had 80 catches for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. He
has accumulated a highlight
reel full of deep balls and back-shoulder receptions, and high
wire-like sideline catches from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The mystery for now
is just how effective Nelson will be on Sunday, and how that affects
how he is covered by the Jaguars.
"I mean, it
depends on how healthy they think he is," Rodgers said.
"But I think we're all looking forward to the sight of No. 87
back on the field and healthy."
means the Rodgers has his full
supporting cast back in Green Bay. A slimmed-down Eddie Lacy has
shown the hard-charging running in camp that made him a star in his
first couple years in the league.
Randall Cobb, who
is known for making tough catches in traffic, added some upper-body
bulk to put up with more pounding.
the top off things and me working underneath — I think we really
do complement each other well," Cobb said.
Coach Mike McCarthy
said Nelson and Cobb are "wired very similar" in that each
can play multiple receiving positions, and have a complete
understanding of the entire offense.
attacking the opponent, why you're attacking the opponent that way
and the adjustments off of that," McCarthy said. "So Jordy
and Randall both have obviously an excellent understanding of our
offense, and they're great role models for
our younger players ."
McCarthy has said
Nelson is a "full go" this week. Nelson said he's ready
for any workload, but there is no estimate on the number of plays
"We'll play it
by snap-by-snap to be honest with you. There (are) a lot of things
that could happen differently," Nelson said.
For instance, if
the game plan calls for Nelson to run deep routes on three straight
plays, more likely than not, he'll come out for the next play or
two. That would have been the case even when he was healthy.
Jacksonville is another variable, with the forecast calling for
mostly sunny skies and highs in the low-90s on Sunday. The hot,
sticky weather in Green Bay on Tuesday forced the Packers indoors
for practice because of morning rain.
"I wouldn't be
surprised if a lot of guys are rotating to stay fresh," Nelson
said. "But no, I feel great. Practice today felt great. I've
done a lot on my own to get ready. So I don't think it will honestly
be an issue."