Is Jordy Nelson's Torn ACL a Season-Killer?
Non-contact injuries are the ultimate irony in sports like football.
They're often bad news, so when Jordy Nelson went down on his own after catching a ball in the Packers last pre-season game against the Steelers, all he could do was hope for the best.
Turns out the best wasn't good enough.
Nelson's MRI confirmed he'd suffered a torn ACL.
Luckily for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers arguably remains the best quarterback in the NFL, so he should be able to make do with the remaining receivers on the roster, including the talented Randall Cobb.
Rodgers is definitely going to miss his go-to guy, though. It's going to be hard for them to find someone who can make up Nelson's 98 catches, tallying 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Yes, Rodgers told the fans to relax the last time the Packers were struggling as a team, but that might be a tougher sell right now.
Cobb's enhanced role in the offense will be vital, but how much more can he produce for them? He already caught 91 balls last year for 1,287 yards and 12 TDs. That's impressive enough in its own right. Can he really elevate those numbers much higher?
Like most team sports, the NFL is a next-man-up operation, so Nelson's role with the Pack will have to be filled by second-year receiver Davante Adams.
Last year, dude was the only Green Bay wide receiver to catch more than three passes. He pulled down 38 of them for 446 yards and three TDs. If you put 2-and-2 together, it's safe to say that those numbers will skyrocket this year.
At least, for the Pack's sake, they'd better.
In reality, Nelson's lost production will have to be generated by committee. Even the tight ends -- Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers, who combined for just 49 catches last year -- are going to find themselves downfield more often than they'd probably like this season.
Pre-season games suck. They're a necessary evil that carry the same risks as contests that count. Still, Green Bay should be just fine. If a Jordy Nelson-caliber player went down for the season on almost any other team, it'd be catastrophic, but with one of the shiniest California Golden Bears at their helm, the Pack should still be able to contend for that NFC title.