All eyes are on the state of Jordy Nelson’s knee, with last year’s torn ACL ultimately dooming the Green Bay Packers season before the kickoff of the regular season. That knee is fine. It’s the other knee that has become a bit of an issue.
“The knee that I had surgery on feels great,” Nelson said after Tuesday’s practice, the first of training camp. “Through training this summer, I had an incident with the other knee. Nothing serious. Just something minor. A little hiccup in it. Our end goal is still the same. We’ll be ready for the regular season. Like I said, there’s just a little hiccup with the other leg. We’re not worried about it. We’re going to work through it inside and continue to progress and we’ll be ready to go at some point during camp and definitely for the season.”
Including Nelson, the Packers opened training camp with six players on the physically unable to perform list. That means receivers Nelson and Ty Montgomery, offensive linemen T.J. Lang and Corey Linsley, tight end Jared Cook and inside linebacker Sam Barrington can’t practice until they are cleared by the training staff.
Before Tuesday’s practice, coach Mike McCarthy sounded optimistic that none of the injuries would linger too deep into camp.
“Really, the communication from Dr. Pat McKenzie is that of all the six, just kind of lump them together,” McCarthy said. “There's no long-term concerns. Just, frankly, they need more time. There's caution involved, obviously, with the start of training camp.”
Nelson wouldn’t discuss what’s wrong, other than it won’t require surgery. ESPN’s Ed Werder said it was tendinitis. Nelson called it a "hiccup."
Asked if there was a timetable, Nelson said “the only timetable is Week 1” at Jacksonville.
“It’s not too frustrating at all, to be honest with you,” Nelson said. “I’m not worried about it. If it was something more serious, I’d kind of be a little nervous. It’s something that’s not a big deal. Obviously, everyone wants to be healthy, I’ve already had a year off and I don’t need any more time. But it’s part of the game. We’ve put in a lot of work and we’re prepared and we’ll just continue to do the same thing.”
Of the six PUP players, Cook was the only other one to talk to reporters. He said he felt a “sharp pain” in his foot during organized team activities. Thinking the injury wasn’t too serious, he continued practicing. He called the surgery “preventative,” and said it was neither a broken bone nor stress fracture.
“I’ve never been in this situation before, so this is fairly new to me,” Cook said of trying to learn a new offense but being unable to practice. “You’ve just got to be able to stay up on everything mentally, make sure you’re paying attention when Aaron is in, and then when the other quarterbacks are doing subtle things like signals and listening to their cadence. It’s tough when you’re not actually getting a lot of reps, but you’ve got to do the best you can to stay up mentally.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.