In a sense, the Packers will have receiver Greg Jennings on Sunday for the first time since the opener.
Jennings played in three of the first four games, but it was late in the first game, against San Francisco, that he sustained the abdomen tear that eventually required surgery. The injury, first diagnosed as a pulled groin, kept him from being full speed when he was playing in the first month.
When his condition didn’t improve with rest, Jennings had surgery 4 ˝ weeks and is set to play Sunday against Minnesota. Assuming he’s at or near full speed, the return of the Packers’ best receiver could help open up an offense that ranks only No. 18 in the NFL in yards and No. 13 in scoring after finishing Nos. 3 and 1, respectively, last season.
“You would hope so,” receivers coach Edgar Bennett said of Jennings’ presence helping the other receivers. “Any time you get a guy that dynamic it certainly helps us. With Randall (Cobb) as productive and versatile he’s been, with all of our guys, you look at James (Jones) and what he’s been able to do, he’s truly made the most of his opportunities and gotten better week in and week out. Jordy (Nelson) as well. Playmakers.”
Jennings returned to practice part time last week, but coach Mike McCarthy and the team’s medical staff decided not to play because his conditioning was deficient after nearly five weeks away from the field. This week Jennings practiced full time.
“He’s going through some of the bumps that you have when you come back for the first week of practice,” McCarthy said. “But he’s got a spring in his step, he’s ready to go.”