GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Nelson, one of the top targets for NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was injured Sunday in a preseason loss at Pittsburgh. The team said Monday only that he suffered a “significant right knee injury” that would cost him the season.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said the team had hoped for good news in a re-evaluation of Nelson’s injury. Instead, the Packers will be without a playmaker who set career highs in receptions (98) and yards receiving (1,519) in 2014.
“It’s difficult to lose a guy like that in a meaningless game,” Rodgers said after the 24-19 loss to Pittsburgh.
Nelson and Randall Cobb formed one of the top receiving duos in the league, each catching more than 90 passes in the Packers’ potent offense last season.
Now the Packers will need more from the promising Davante Adams, who has had a good offseason and training camp; and rookie Ty Montgomery, who has impressed so far in practice.
Myles White, who played seven games with the Packers in 2013, has also had a good camp. The 6-foot-3 Jeff Janis, a second-year player, has size but been inconsistent. Jared Abbrederis has been sidelined by a concussion.
None of them has the credentials of Nelson, an eight-year veteran who has developed a knack for making seemingly impossible catches on the sideline and catching deep balls from Rodgers.
It’s that skill that made Nelson and Cobb and such a formidable duo, with Cobb often able to get open over the middle for big third-down plays.
The emergence of second-year tight end Richard Rodgers, who has stood out in camp so far, could also help ease the loss of Nelson.
The Packers also have one of the top offensive lines in the league and punishing running attack featuring Eddie Lacy.