2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Nelson a playmaking rock for banged-up Packers

    2013-11-21 17:31

(Eds: Adds details, quotes. Will stand. With AP Photos.)
By GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - On a team ravaged by injuries, Jordy Nelson has been a rock for the Packers.

Not that the receiver known for his tip-toe catches and sideline tight-roping acts is ever standing still. Nelson is doing his part to keep an offense going without injured starters Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley.

''I'm going to play the game the same with or without those guys,'' Nelson said. ''I'm going to run my route to the best of my ability and try to get open. It doesn't matter who's throwing it or who else is out there.''

With so many injuries, the Packers (5-5) operate with a constant ''next man up'' philosophy. Scott Tolzien has been the named the starter for Sunday's critical game against the Minnesota Vikings with Rodgers (left collarbone) still hurt.

The earliest Cobb (leg) could return from injured reserve for a game is in mid-December. Tight end Finley is done for the year with a neck injury. Besides Cobb, fellow receiver James Jones also missed two games with a knee injury.

That leaves Nelson as the most the productive player out of Green Bay's vaunted quartet of receiving targets for Rodgers. He's seventh in the league in receiving yards (889), with seven touchdowns on 57 catches.

And he's remained productive with Tolzien, a former practice squad player, running the offense. On Sunday, Nelson caught eight passes for 117 yards in the 27-13 loss to the Giants.

It's the result of Nelson's preparation, and how he has put in extra time with all the quarterbacks, receivers coach Edgar Bennett said Thursday.

''What I admire about Jordy Nelson's growth here of late, the last year or so, is his leadership,'' coach Mike McCarthy said this week. ''He's exerted himself more. He's a great representative of what a professional football player is. ... He does it on the field, off the field.''

Remarkably, defenses have been putting more emphasis of late on stopping rookie running back Eddie Lacy, whose 645 yards over the last seven games leads the NFL in that span. Rodgers would make opponents pay dearly if they stuffed the box.

Tolzien has had success with the deep ball, but has thrown five interceptions over the last two weeks, putting the Packers through midseason growing pains at a time they need to get moving in the playoff chase. A three-game skid has dropped them to third in the NFC North, a game behind Chicago and Detroit.

Nelson would like nothing better than to make a defensive back pay in single coverage while teams try to stop the run.

''But I think we can still do it, and I think if they do that, the play-action game will be there for us like it was last week,'' Nelson said. ''We just need to continue to make more plays and eliminate some more mistakes.''

Jarrett Boykin, who replaced Cobb, has remained productive, too, the last couple weeks, with 14 catches for 203 yards. He has 29 catches for 453 yards on the season.

''Jarrett's a playmaker, man. He's showed it on the practice field a lot of times that you guys don't get to see,'' Jones said. ''But lately, he's had opportunities in the games. I mean he's a playmaker.''

And learning from one of the best in the league in Nelson.

NOTES: LB Clay Matthews, working with smaller cast to protect his injured right thumb, said having his four other fingers free now is helping, and that he was ''definitely getting better.'' Matthews was credited with a sack last week, his first since getting hurt Oct. 6 against the Lions. ... Rodgers did not participate in Thursday's practice. ... CB Sam Shields (hamstring) missed another practice, and McCarthy thought Shields might have a ''50-50'' chance of playing Sunday. ... CB Micah Hyde (groin) was a new addition to the injury report. ... RT Don Barclay (knee) and LB Nick Perry (foot/ankle) also missed practice. Both players missed last week's game against the Giants.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 07:53p

Free-agent RB Chris Johnson's (Titans) visit with the New York Jets reportedly went well Tuesday, April 15, but he left without a deal. Other teams are involved with him, too.

Rolando McClainApr 15 07:53p

The Baltimore Ravens worked out LB Rolando McClain, and it reportedly wasn't a success. McClain didn't finish his conditioning test and didn't perform drills.

Terrell ManningApr 15 05:43p

The Minnesota Vikings claimed LB Terrell Manning off waivers from the San Diego Chargers Tuesday, April 15.

Adam PodleshApr 15 05:13p

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free-agent P Adam Podlesh (Bears) to an undisclosed one-year deal Tuesday, April 15.

Allen ReisnerApr 15 03:53p

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday, April 15, that they've signed free-agent TE Allen Reisner (Jaguars) to an undisclosed deal.

Daniel KilgoreApr 15 03:23p

San Francisco 49ers OG Daniel Kilgore was found not guilty of public intoxication related to his arrest in January in Tennessee. His case was dismissed following his appearance in [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 15 02:23p

The Green Bay Packers agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal to re-sign QB Matt Flynn Tuesday, April 15, according to a source.

Dion JordanApr 15 01:53p

Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey is expecting big things from DE Dion Jordan in his second season this year. He's a very talented player and this is a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group