Packers Title Odds Take Hit With Loss of Jordy Nelson
The Green Bay Packers got some potentially awful news on Sunday afternoon, when they learned number one wide receiver Jordy Nelson may have suffered a torn ACL.
Nelson went down in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a non-contact injury. Nelson was able to get up and walk to the locker room on his own power, but tests reportedly indicated shorty after that an ACL tear was likely.
The initial diagnosis on #Packers WR Jordy Nelson is a torn ACL, source said. Horrible news. Awaiting MRI results to confirm.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 23, 2015
If Nelson indeed tore his ACL, the 30-year star receiver’s 2015 NFL season ends before it even begins and Green Bay suddenly has to worry about replacing a key cog in one of the league’s most potent passing attacks. Aaron Rodgers’ favorite weapon hauled in 98 catches and scored 13 touchdowns in 2014 – numbers that could be difficult to replace.
The silver lining for the Packers is that they won’t enter week one without talent at wide receiver. Randall Cobb was already a strong number two option and his role will naturally be expanded heading into the new season. More pressure is certain to be applied to second-year wide receiver Davante Adams, who could be the key to replacing Nelson successfully. While not as disciplined of a route-runner, Adams is an athletic possession receiver who can win on the outside and has potential as a red-zone option. Adams secured 38 balls for over 440 yards and three scores last year, but was arguably at his best come crunch time in the playoffs.
Adams made some rookie mistakes at times in 2014, but all signs from camp and preseason play this summer indicate Adams is even better as he prepares for his second NFL season. That’s good news for a team that badly needs him to mature into a starting caliber wide receiver as soon as possible.
All of the pressure may not fall squarely on Adams, as Green Bay has been fortunate to add solid talent at the wide receiver position over the past few seasons. The team drafted shifty return man Ty Montgomery this year, and also took a flier on tall speedster Jeff Janis in last year’s draft. While two very different types of wide receivers, both could work together to help off-set the loss of Nelson.
Super Bowl Hopes
Replacing Jordy Nelson is quite the tall task, but the Packers do have Aaron Rodgers leading this offense still and at first glance should have the depth needed to withstand the type of blow that could very well cripple most other teams.
The loss of Jordy Nelson might appear even more crushing considering it comes to the team Vegas had so far picked to win the Super Bowl this year. Heading into 2015 with strong 11/2 odds to win it all this year, the Packers could suddenly take a hit when it comes to NFL betting. Should that happen, of course, a strong Super Bowl favorite could end up being a sneaky play to go the distance. For now, Green Bay seems to still have what they need to make it all the way to the league’s finale game, but bettors will naturally have to consider the loss of Nelson before they submit the Pack as their Super Bowl pick.
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