Packers snap counts: Wide receivers played through injuries in varying degrees
Heading into the NFC Championship Game, the Green Bay Packers had six players listed as questionable, although none more so than wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who had broken ribs.
Yet, not only was Nelson on the field often against the Atlanta Falcons, but he also played more than fellow banged-up wide receivers Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) -- by a long shot.
Nelson appeared in 49 of Green Bay's offensive snaps (72 percent). He was targeted nine times by Aaron Rodgers and finished with six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. After most thought Nelson wouldn't play due to the painful injury, he ended up catching the first two passes thrown by Rodgers, coming on the Packers' second and third plays from scrimmage.
Adams ended up playing just 27 snaps (40 percent), his lowest output since Week 3. He had appeared in at least 90 percent of Green Bay's offensive plays in six straight games entering Sunday. Adams caught all three of his targets in the loss to Atlanta for 16 yards with a touchdown.
Allison had played 41 snaps (58 percent) against the Giants and 51 snaps (76 percent) at Dallas in the playoffs, but was on the field for only 28 snaps (41 percent) against Atlanta, catching one pass for 11 yards.
Some other notes from Sunday's snap counts:
-- With the all the injuries at wide receiver, Randall Cobb played 66 snaps (97 percent), his highest percentage since Week 2. He finished with six catches on nine targets for 82 yards.
-- Rookie wide receiver Trevor Davis had a career-high 36 snaps against Atlanta in Green Bay's seventh game of the season. Since then and leading up to Sunday's rematch, Davis had a combined 16 snaps. In the playoffs, he didn't play on offense against New York and had 5 snaps at Dallas. In the NFC title game, Davis was on the field for 22 offensive plays (32 percent) but was never targeted. Jeff Janis had 14 snaps (21 percent) and was targeted once, an incompletion.
-- If you happened to turn the game off early, yes, Letroy Guion did see five snaps on offense as he filled in at guard in the waning moments.
-- T.J. Lang played 38 snaps (56 percent) before having to leave the game with an injury.
-- Wonder why Aaron Rodgers wants Jared Cook to return? Cook had 51 snaps (75 percent) and was targeted a team-high 12 times (7 catches for 78 yards and a TD). The other tight end, Richard Rodgers, had just 17 snaps (25 percent) and wasn't targeted.
-- Safety Morgan Burnett (quadriceps) was listed as questionable entering the game but played in all 73 defensive snaps and had tied for the team high with seven tackles. Cornerback Quinten Rollins (neck/concussion) also was questionable and appeared on the field for just 19 defensive plays (26 percent).
-- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix completed the perfecto, playing in every defensive snap this season.
-- Cornerback Marwin Evans had played just 18 defensive snaps this season and none in the playoffs. Against Atlanta, Evans saw the field for 25 defensive plays (34 percent). He had no tackles or passes defensed.
Here's the complete offensive and defensive snap counts for Green Bay against Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game:
PLAYOFF GAME 3: FALCONS (OFFENSE)
PLAYOFF GAME 3: FALCONS (DEFENSE)
Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth's Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players from the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns