Greg Jennings might not be able to put his team on his back this week, bro.
When Jennings left Green Bay’s loss to San Francisco late in the game, the severity of his groin injury was unclear. But what was clear to every Jennings owner is this: short weeks suck.
If his injury was anything more than a mild aggravation, Jennings’ status would automatically be in serious doubt with the short turnaround for the Packers’ Thursday night game against the Bears this week, and therefore he’d have three fewer days to rest and receive treatment. And indeed last night we learned that’s the case, as his status remains uncertain today after head coach Mike McCarthy said that following the game Jennings “didn’t feel very good,” but his condition improved somewhat on Monday.
We’ll update this situation later today with our daily journey around the NFL’s training tables, but you should already start preparing to dig into your bench depth if you own Jennings, or to scour the waiver wire if you’re in a deep league. Of course, if you’re the proud owner of Jordy Nelson, this news is reason for great glee.
Jennings missed the final three games of last season, which included one of the Packers’ showdowns against the division rival Bears. So with Jennings out and all of Aaron Rodgers’ attention focused on him when the offense was looking to stretch the field, Nelson had six receptions for 115 yards (including a 55-yard catch) and two touchdowns. That’s a cool 17 fantasy points, but Nelson wasn’t the only receiver to benefit from Jennings’ absence.
When the dominoes fell and someone needed to fill the No. 2 hole because Nelson was busy filling the No. 1 hole, James Jones received the increase in receptions and targets. That resulted in 50 receiving yards and two touchdowns of his own during that Week 16 game against the Bears, and even this past Sunday with Jennings healthy for most of the game Jones still finished with 81 yards and a score.
Jones is then the immediate pickup for Jennings owners fearing bad news later today, with Randall Cobb another option, although he’ll likely remain the slot receiver. If he doesn’t practice in at least a limited capacity today, the chances that No. 85 will play just two days from now are slim. Settle down, though, my instinctively cliff seeking fantasy friends, because Jones is available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues, a number that jumps to 87 percent in ESPN leagues.
Make the precautionary move now, and consider it a one-week handcuff.