The Green Bay Packers are putting in plenty of work on the field this week, both as a team and individuals during their second period of organized team activities.
Jordy Nelson, who missed last season due to an ACL injury, is one player that is not participating in the team workouts right now, because of his recovery, but that doesn’t mean he’s not getting his on-field work in with Aaron Rodgers.
In fact, Nelson recently said that if there were a game Sunday (as in tomorrow) he is healthy enough to play. However, in order to be cautious, the Packers are going to hold him out of full 11-on-11 team drills until training camp.
Yet, just because Nelson isn’t participating in team workouts, doesn’t mean he isn’t spending the time re-building his ever-important chemistry with the two-time MVP.
Rodgers, who posted career lows last season in completion percentage (60.7) and yards (3,821), at least in seasons in which he started 15 or 16 games, missed Nelson badly. Hell, so did the entire Packers offense.
Nelson is an incredible receiver. He can take a two-yard reception and turn it into a 20-yard gain. He is also one of the NFL’s premier deep threats and all-around best receivers as evidenced by his average of 1,400 yards and 10.5 touchdowns during 2013 and 2014.
And while the Packers saw their number of explosive players with Nelson out of lineup drop from 59 in 2014 to 55 last season, the biggest thing that was missing was Rodgers have a go-to guy to throw to.
But now that Nelson is close to 100 percent again, he and Rodgers are preparing for the 2016 season and hopefully the two will once again take the NFL by storm.
And while it’s too early to say if that will happen, although I suspect it will, Nelson and Rodgers have not wasted anytime in getting re-acquainted on the field.
Seemingly whenever they get a chance, Rodgers throws to Nelson on the side. And Nelson is doing more than just catching passes, he’s running routes, making cuts and re-establishing the incredible connection that makes Rodgers and Nelson arguably the best QB-WR duo in the NFL.
“It’s very important for Jordy Nelson to catch the football from Aaron Rodgers. That’s something that can’t get lost in his coming back,” McCarthy said via Packers.com. “Jordy’s human. Aaron throws the football differently than the other quarterbacks we have here. So it’s important for him to get that timing to see the football come out of his hand and get his head around when the ball’s in the air.”
For his part, Nelson said he is ready to go full bore, but for now, it’s just good to see number 87 back in his rightful place — catching passes from number 12.
“I could do it competitively,” Nelson said. “But, obviously, we’re going to smart with it when there’s no reason to.
“You want to be out there and you want to have fun, so it’s nice to at least be catching some balls and have the jersey on and cleats on and not 100 percent in tennis shoes and being a coach.”
Rodgers missed Nelson, just as the entire Packers team did. Only a couple more months and he will finally be back on the playing field, which will be a welcome sight for the quarterback as well as Green Bay fans everywhere.