For the first time this offseason, Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson was on the practice field as something more than a highly paid assistant coach.
Nelson, who had offseason hip surgery, took part in individual drills on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Packers are conducting their third and final week of organized team activities. It's his first on-field activity since the Pro Bowl.
“We’re right where we want to be,” Nelson said after Wednesday’s practice, which was open to fans and media. “We set a plan at the beginning and we’re hitting every target. We feel good and, like I said a couple of weeks ago, we’ll be ready to go by training camp.”
The past two weeks, Nelson watched practice from behind the offense. With practice script in hand, he offered his help to a receiving corps that includes six rookies. This week marked the latest step in his comeback.
The plan, Nelson said, is to be 100 percent for training camp, which starts on July 30.
“That’s what you want to be,” he said. “The important stuff is training camp, so it’s nice to get the script and be out there and take the mental reps and help the young guys out, so I’ll be ready and sharp mentally and by the time training camp comes we’ll be ready to go.” Nelson is coming off a remarkable season in which he caught 98 passes for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. Only a handful of players have surpassed that production in all three categories in NFL history. Nelson, who has played in all 16 regular-season games in four of the past five seasons, was not on the injury report due to the hip injury at any point last season.
Nelson, who turned 30 on May 31, is entering his eighth season in the NFL. All eight seasons have been with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback, so if there’s a player who could afford to miss some reps during the offseason, it’s Nelson.
“I told the coaches the other day that I’m living the best life,” Nelson joked. “I get to work out early, don’t have to sit through all their meetings and then go down and coach and don’t have to practice. It’s a good life right now.”
While Nelson has barely practiced, coach Mike McCarthy said Nelson has “been here more than any other player” this offseason.
“My wife and I, the last few years, have stayed up here year-round, but obviously doing rehab and staying here with the trainers the great staff they have, they’ve done a great job of getting me back,” Nelson said. “So, yeah, been in every morning pretty much five days a week for the last how many months. Getting tired of it, so ready to move on.”
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