Jordy Nelson will make his long-awaited return to action for Sunday’s Week 1 at Jacksonville.
Nelson would rather it be Week 2.
“So everyone can move on and stop talking about it.”
The “it,” of course, is the most famous ACL in Green Bay. Nelson hasn’t played in a game since that fateful Aug. 23 in Pittsburgh.
Between the torn ACL in his right knee and the “hiccup” with his other knee, Nelson essentially had only one real week of training camp and this week to get him ready for Sunday’s game.
Nelson says he’s ready to go — though it’s not quite the comeback he had planned.
“Going through camp and everything would have prepared me better, but that’s not the situation I’ve been put in,” Nelson said on Tuesday. “I think going out there today — I was in the meetings, I was at practice, I ran routes, so I don’t feel like I’m behind. Would it have been better going through camp? Yeah, probably. It wouldn’t have hurt. But I’m not worried about it. I don’t think anyone in this locker room is worried about it. I don’t think anybody in this building is worried about it. I think the couple weeks I got at the end of camp and, obviously, today and the rest of this week, we’ll be ready to go.”
On Monday, coach Mike McCarthy said he expected Nelson to be “full bore” for Sunday. After not playing in the preseason and having limited practice reps — and then adding the sweltering weather into the equation — it seems unlikely that Nelson would be ready for full-time duty in the first game.
Nelson wasn’t sure how things would play out on Sunday.
“We're not going to put a number on it,” he said. “We've discussed it. I think the situation of being in Jacksonville, we'll play it by snap-by-snap, to be honest with you. There's a lot of things that could happen differently. But seeing how the possessions are taken, seeing what the weather is like, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of guys are rotating to stay fresh.”
While there’s a difference between being “in shape” and being “in football shape,” Nelson sounded confident in his conditioning — despite his limited on-the-field time this summer. He said he “felt great” at Tuesday’s practice, which was held inside the Don Hutson Center due to rain. With the doors closed, it was warm and steamy inside — about as good of prep as possible for what’s to come, with a predicted high of 94 and a “RealFeel” temperature of 106 for Sunday, according to Accuweather.com.
“I'm ready for anything,” Nelson said. “There's so much that goes into a game — the flow of a game, how it works, the plays that get called, the routes I end up running. There's so much to it. If I end up for some reason getting three deep balls in a row, yeah, I'm coming out. I'll come out at the end of the year on that, too. I could run a bunch of short routes all the way down the field and never have a problem.”
Ultimately, the hot-and-humid forecast notwithstanding, this is the question — and the question Nelson is sick of answering.
Is there anything about his knees that will hold him back on Sunday and beyond?
“Absolutely not,” he said.
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.