Green Bay Packers: Others can help fill void left by Jordy Nelson


The Green Bay Packers were fearing the worst and their nightmare came true Monday when they learned their Pro Bowl wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, would be lost for the year due to a knee injury. With Nelson’s loss, Aaron Rodgers loses his No. 1 receiver and the Packers lose one of their best playmakers and leaders.

Now the main question on many Packers fans’ minds is if the Packers can still win the Super Bowl without Nelson. Not many teams would be able to go far into the season and playoffs without one of their best offensive weapons, but the Packers are one of those few teams.

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One big reason is because of Aaron Rodgers, but also because the Packers do have some other options on offense that can help pick up the void left by Nelson.

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The first player that will be called upon to do more is Davante Adams. Labeled the offseason MVP and praised for his improvement by Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers, Adams now will have every opportunity to showcase his skills. Adams will be getting a lot more snaps and will be a primary target for Rodgers.

Randall Cobb is the new No. 1 and will get plenty of action, but Adams will be a crucial player for the Packers to have any type of playoff and possible Super Bowl success. It’s a lot to ask for the second-year pro to try to replace an Pro Bowl receiver like Nelson, but it seems as though he is up to the task.

Rookie Ty Montgomery is next in the line of receivers that will be called upon to do more on the offense. Montgomery said after the Steelers game that he felt like he could do anything in this offense and he was ready to do as much as the Packers have asked.

He oozes confidence and combine that with his playmaking skills he’s shown in training camp, Montgomery could be a great asset for the offense trying to make up for Nelson. Montgomery has played every receiver spot and practiced every spot for the Packers so far, so his versatility will be very useful for the Packers.

Montgomery will be in a similar situation to what Adams was last year being the number three option for the Packers, but the Packers might expect a little bit more from Montgomery this season.

Based on physical traits, Jeff Janis is the ideal replacement for Jordy Nelson. Both are 6’3″ and Janis possesses great speed that would help replace the deep threat that is gone with Nelson.

Janis has been inconsistent at best this training camp and will really need to improve his game during these last two preseason games to give the Packers and Aaron Rodgers any confidence in Janis in order to receive a lot of reps during the regular season.

The Packers would ideally like a bigger wide receiver to replace Nelson and Janis is that guy, but he needs to become more consistent in his play. These last two preseason games will be critical for Janis.

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Myles White also has some regular season snaps for the Packers and has looked good at the start of training camp, but his play has kind of dimmed as of late. If the Packers don’t add a receiver from outside the organization, White could make the team by default as the fifth wide receiver.

Jared Abbrederis might be an option if he can come back soon and make a great impression with these final couple of weeks of training camp and preseason, but that might be asking a lot. The other receivers currently on the roster are Javess Blue, Jimmie Hunt, Larry Pinkard, and Ed Williams. Unless one of those guys really stand out these final weeks, it’s unlikely they will make the team.

The Packers could look outside the organization for help, but options are limited as well. Wes Welker is still a free agent, but if the Packers were looking at adding someone they would want an outside receiver and not another slot receiver. The hot name is James Jones, who is currently with the New York Giants.

Jones is on the bubble of making the roster, but has played well this preseason and it might be hard for the Giants to release Jones. If they do, the Packers would be smart at looking to bring in Jones. He knows the system, played with Rodgers and a lot of the current players, and would help provide veteran leadership. Cobb is now the oldest veteran of the receivers group, but Cobb just turned 25 years old.

Jones would help improve the depth at this position if the Packers get a chance to pick him up.

There are some other players at different positions that could help. Richard Rodgers could see more action in the passing game. He’s steadily improved from last season and has made some really nice plays during training camp and preseason. If Richard Rodgers can take his game up another level, that would greatly help the Packers offense and give Aaron Rodgers another much needed target.

Eddie Lacy could also play a pivotal role. Lacy has become a three down back and has become solid in the passing game. Lacy could become more of a focal point for the offense now and he has been off to a very good start this preseason.

As long as Lacy is healthy and still playing at a high level, opposing defenses will still struggle to defend the run and pass against the Packers, because they will have to pick their poison between Rodgers and Lacy.

While the Packers will be looking at different players on offense to help pick up the slack, the defense can also be pivotal in helping ease the pain of losing Nelson. If the Packers defense can make strides and improve and become a solid defense this year, the Packers offense won’t have to go out and outscore opponents each game to win.

The offense has bailed out the Packers defense so many times over the years, this year they have a chance to return the favor. If this unit improves to become a solid group, it helps the offense and team as a whole.

While losing Nelson hurts the Packers in a big way, it does not mean in any way the Packers Super Bowl chances also go out the window. The Packers offense still has some weapons that should be able to make the Packers offense one of the better offenses in the league. As long as number 12 is still under center and healthy, the Packers are contenders every year.

Just to give Packers fans a little bit more confidence, the two teams that played in the Super Bowl last year, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, didn’t have stellar wide receiving corps. Looking at the current Packers offense compared to those offenses last year, the Packers offense is still much better on paper.

There is still a good chance the Packers can make a run at Super Bowl 50.

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