GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Jordy Nelson is slowly making his way back from broken ribs, though the Green Bay Packers’ top receiver is far from sure about his chances of playing in the NFC championship game in Atlanta.
Nelson returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday after missing last week’s win against Dallas. Coach Mike McCarthy said earlier in the day that Nelson would focus on rehab work.
”I don’t know. It’s obviously a long ways away,” Nelson said when asked about the odds of playing against the Falcons on Sunday. ”I’ve improved every day. Hopefully that continues.”
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At least there is visible progress compared to the pain that Nelson experienced two weeks ago after the helmet of New York Giants safety Leon Hall hit the receiver on left side of his body while he was jumping in trying to catch a high pass.
Nelson bent over in pain on the sideline. He was taken to the locker room on the front seat of a cart, where he was hunched over with his hands on his face.
”I’ve never been like that before. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen again,” said Nelson, who added that he did not suffer any internal injuries.
Nelson missed the 34-31 win over the Cowboys, but did travel with the team to Dallas.
Asked if Hall’s hit was dirty, Nelson said, ”I don’t know. I’m not worried about it. To be honest with you, my theory was if I don’t break my ribs no one talks about the hit.”
Nelson bounced back this season after missing the 2015 season with a torn right ACL. He had an NFL-high 14 touchdown catches in 2016, on 97 receptions for 1,257 yards as Aaron Rodgers’ top target in the Packers’ prolific passing attack.
While the Packers have withstood the loss of Nelson so far in the playoffs, they have to deal with another worrisome injury in the receiving group after Davante Adams missed practice with a sore ankle.
Adams, who had a breakout regular season with 75 catches for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns, got hurt in the Cowboys game. Coach Mike McCarthy said that Adams may not practice until Saturday so that he can focus on rehab.
Rookie Geronimo Allison was also added to the injury report this week with a hamstring injury.
Nelson said he has never played with broken ribs before, but ”we’ll find out, hopefully.”
”But right now I’m just focused on getting back to full motion and doing everything and seeing if we can get that opportunity, and it would be a great chance to have,” Nelson said.
This version corrects that Nelson practiced on a limited basis.
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