Archive for the ‘Green Bay Packers’ Category

When Greg Jennings went down earlier this year with a groin injury, Jordy Nelson owners were pleased with the thought of him getting even more looks from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The problem? Nelson can’t stay healthy either.

Nelson left in the first quarter of Green Bay’s win over Minnesota Sunday with a hamstring injury. He apparently “felt something in pre-game” but he then decided to give it a go. Unfortunately after just one reception for ten yards, the second-round pick in 2008 was unable to continue. Nelson was forced to miss a Week 8 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars due to a similar issue.

This is good news for Jennings and James Jones owners, both of whom will now receive more targets in Nelson’s absence. Jennings made his return to the lineup Sunday and was targeted eight times, catching four balls for 46 yards, while Jones was targeted twice, catching two balls for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Hopefully Nelson can return for the rest of the fantasy playoff drive, but it doesn’t look good this week.

It wasn’t long ago when Aaron Rodgers stood in front of the media and professed that maybe the answer to his sacking wasn’t more blockers, rather less. If there were less blockers to use, it meant more options to throw to. And it made sense entirely; after all, it was former Ajax soccer head coach Jack Reynold’s 1920s philosophy of the “attack being the best defense” that everyone presently subscribes to and agrees with. With more attackers, there’s more for the defense to account for, and the more scoring opportunities. That’s usually a pretty successful equation.

But on Sunday Night Football, the attack fell apart. Real estate was exquisitely compressed by the zone schemes of the New York Giants, with an occasional mix of the forever popular man coverage, and all of Rodgers’ attackers were manhandled at the line of scrimmage prior to being imprisoned by the Giants’ defenders. Rodgers was brought down repeatedly after running to find a teammate due to his five over matched — “lesser” blockers, one might say — blockers.

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Owning Greg Jennings this year has just been the worst. Like worse than the idea to remake Red Dawn, and worse than the idea to take a shot every time someone says the word “home” during Red Dawn. That’s a lot of bad right there.

But finally there’s hope for the fantasy jerk who’s missed seven games. Small, teasing hope.

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Earlier I used the headline “Jordy Nelson would like to make you smile” when the Packers receiver was surprisingly active despite a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice all week, and it was so severe that he wasn’t even able to test it Friday or do any light work.

Now Nelson would like to make you vomit uncontrollably. Or maybe that’s just the remains of last night’s Jack Daniels surging to the surface. Either way, watching Nelson roll over his ankle after an awkward catch — his first and likely only catch today — and then hobble to the sideline likely prompted an acid reflex of some kind.

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Jordy Nelson couldn’t even test his injured hamstring on Friday, and although Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said at the time that he’s 50/50, that percentage seemed like it was a downright filthy lie. How can a player who’s missed a game with an injury and then wasn’t even able to take it for a test drive at half speed in practice have a chance to play at full speed while facing contact?

That question, friends, is why we all just watch games, and click away to plug players into fake lineups and such. For we are mere mortals, and football players are cyborgs who were once raised by a giant rat in a sewer, or something.

Nelson is active and playing. While Calvin Johnson playing is unsurprising and the worry about him was a product of instinctive profuse sweating, Nelson’s inclusion on the Packers’ active list is the opposite of that for the aforementioned lack of any test whatsoever this week. That’s also why — again similar to Johnson — you can feel free to insert Nelson into your starting lineup now, but do it with decreased expectations.

Now that I’ve written this Nelson will surely surprise us (and indeed, just after typing those words Jay Glazer reported that he’s a “full go” so we’ll see), and do something crazy and heroic. But the worry about him is even more significant than the concern surrounding Johnson, because while both will be limited despite still playing, Johnson’s injury hasn’t necessitated any missed time.

Nelson is a surprise last-minute active. Treat him accordingly, and look at him as a mid-tier WR2 when usually he’d be flirting with WR1 status in the high octane Packers offense with Greg Jennings out despite a less than ideal matchup against the Cardinals and Patrick Peterson.

Here are the other notable actives/inactives.

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Earlier we wrote a giant, screaming headline that was entirely fake while telling you not to worry about Calvin Johnson. Now this headline is more silent and soft. That’s because when the grown ups tell us news that sucks, they speak in low, hushed tones.

So grab your wife and children, and head to the storm shelter. Grab your Jordy Nelson replacement too, because he’s maybe, probably, most likely not playing this weekend.

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Not a good sign for Nelson owners, and with Green Bay facing an Arizona team on short rest, coach Mike McCarthy may be inclined to hold out his star wide receiver for another week.

In Nelson’s absence Aaron Rodgers threw for only 186 yards against the Jaguars last week. James Jones recorded seven receptions for 78 yards to lead the Packers in receiving. On Monday night Alex Smith did anything he wanted against the Cardinals pass defense — 18/19 for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Expect Rodgers to do the same, with or without Nelson