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Packers being cautious with Nelson

Oct. 31, 2012
 

Jordy Nelson’s hamstring is feeling better, but the Green Bay Packers plan to take the full week before deciding if he will be back for Sunday’s game against Arizona.

With Greg Jennings already out for at least three weeks with a rectus abdominal tear, the Packers’ receiving corps has been spread even more thin with Nelson still on the mend.

Second-year pro Randall Cobb got the start in place of Nelson last Sunday with both veteran Donald Driver and rookie Jarrett Boykin seeing a bump in snaps, but there were some necessary adjustments, especially as it pertained to the Packers’ no-huddle offense.

“I think that’s the toughest thing when you’re losing Jordy and Greg for extended time, is you just don’t have the same continuity all the time with the amount of reps we put in the no-huddle, some of the signal variation stuff that we do formationally,”

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “Those guys, they’ve got to come along though and really just ... Jarrett (Boykin), when he gets his opportunities. I think he’s ready.

“There’s an expectation around here that when a guy goes down, the next guy up has got to step in and play well. Jarrett's going to get some more opportunities and we feel confident. There’s a reason we kept him on the team after training camp, it’s because he’s going to be a big-time player for us at some point.”

On Monday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Nelson would rehab Wednesday and Thursday in hopes of returning in time for Friday’s final practice before Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Packers’ final contest before their bye week.

Nelson tested out the hamstring prior to Sunday’s 24-15 win over Jacksonville but wasn’t cleared to play with the injury, which flared up at practice last Wednesday.

With Nelson out, the Packers’ passing offense was limited to only 198 yards against the Jaguars. It was the first time Rodgers failed to eclipse 200 passing yards in a regular-season game he played start to finish since Oct. 31, 2010.

This isn’t the first time this season the Packers have taken a cautious approach to a first-time hamstring injury. Two weeks ago, the Packers sat down tight end D.J. Williams for one week with a slight pull despite being thin at the position.

While Nelson’s status is uncertain, McCarthy stood by the team’s next-man-up approach and had no interest in looking ahead to the bye for refuge.

“I think we’ve made the mistake of maybe looking forward to the bye week in the past,” said McCarthy.

“We’re not going to make that mistake this week. Our focus is on the Arizona Cardinals. We made a big point as a staff and as a football team to make sure the urgency is heightened.”

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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