Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson spent Sunday evening in a hospital due to a wicked shot to the ribs, an injury that leaves his status for a divisional-round showdown at Dallas highly in doubt.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Nelson sustained “at least” two fractured ribs. Packers coach Mike McCarthy wouldn't rule out Nelson on Monday, but that might be more hope and gamesmanship than anything.
With about 11 minutes to go in the first half, Nelson bobbled a deep pass up the left sideline from Aaron Rodgers. Giants safety Leon Hall, racing over from the middle of the field, delivered a jarring hit to Nelson’s midsection to force an incompletion.
A fine probably awaits. The replays from Fox’s coverage show Hall leading with the crown of the helmet. Nelson was driven several yards into the Packers’ sideline area, where he was treated for several minutes before being taken to the locker room for further examination and then the hospital.
“Jordy Nelson has a rib injury,” McCarthy said on Monday afternoon. “Talking with the medical staff, he’s going to be in the rehab group through Friday. And then Saturday if he can practice, then he may have a chance. But we’re not going to do anything until Saturday. I’ll probably know more about where Jordy stands come Friday.”
McCarthy wouldn’t say whether Nelson suffered any internal injuries as a result of the hit by Hall. As is McCarthy's typical policy, he said he would let Nelson tell any specifics. Because of the injury, there's probably a good chance Nelson won't talk to reporters this week.
Nelson was with the team for treatment on Monday, McCarthy said.
After missing last season with a torn ACL, Nelson had a huge season with 97 receptions, 1,257 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdown receptions. During Green Bay’s six-game winning streak to end the regular season, Nelson caught 44 passes for 594 yards (13.5 average) and five touchdowns.
“It would be a huge loss for us, obviously,” Rodgers said after the game. “But Geronimo (Allison) has been playing a lot for us and he’s been playing effectively. Randall (Cobb) being back healthy — you know, I said this week in my press conference we’re better with 18 on the field. And he showed it tonight, made a ton of plays for us. He was excellent. And having him out there is going to help. But Geronimo is going to have to step up and play extended time if Jordy is going to be out.”
The Packers overcame Nelson’s absence against a superb Giants defense. Davante Adams caught eight passes for 125 yards and one touchdown and Cobb caught five passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns. Cobb tied an NFL postseason record with the three touchdowns and was the first player in almost 15 years to accomplish that feat.
“I think everybody just kind of stuck to our job, try to put ourselves in position to make the plays when they were there, whenever we had those opportunities,” Cobb said. “We hate seeing one of our guys go down, but we’ve got to continue to play, We know our season was on the line.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.