In welcome news for the Packers, star receiver Jordy Nelson passed his physical Wednesday and was reinstated from the physically unable to perform list, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link).
Nelson, who’s now cleared to practice, missed all of last season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in August. While his return this year was expected, he experienced “an incident” with his left knee less than a month ago. Given that it wasn’t his surgically repaired knee, Nelson wasn’t particularly worried about the issue, but he also couldn’t put a timetable on how much longer it would sideline him.
“Our end goal is still the same,” Nelson said at the time. “We’ll be ready for the regular season. Like I said, there’s just a little hiccup with the other leg.”
Nelson’s comeback is certainly a huge development for the Packers, whose normally great offense went backward without him last year. As Green Bay stumbled to a 4-6 regular-season finish that prevented it from winning a fifth straight NFC North title, the absence of Nelson was obvious. The club struggled to find solid complements to Randall Cobb and MVP-caliber quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t as brilliant as he had been in previous seasons.
The last time he saw action, 2014, Nelson earned a Pro Bowl nod for the first time after posting career-high totals in receptions (98), targets (151) and yards (1,519). He also scored 13 touchdowns, giving him 49 in seven seasons. Since the Pack selected Nelson, now 31, out of Kansas State in the second round of the 2008 draft, he has piled up 400 receptions and 6,109 yards – good for a robust 15.3-yard average.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.