The initial fear was that Packers receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a fracture to his ribs after the illegal hit delivered from Giants safety Leon Hall.
As it turns out, he doesn't have just one - but TWO fractures to the left side of his ribcage. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport broke the news Monday evening and it was confirmed shortly after by Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
However, the two fractures are just what has been reported so far. Typically with rib injuries, they don't occur in isolation and more often than not, there is further damage to surrounding internal organs. Collapsed lung, spleen laceration, a punctured lung, etc. There's still a chance that Nelson could play on Sunday in the Packers' NFC divisional game against the Cowboys, but his hopes were already bleak. With this news, the odds are looking even more to favor him being sidelined.
James Jones suffered a similar injury at the end of the 2013 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He finished the season playing through two fractured ribs, but in his case, there was likely no surrounding damage.
Rib injuries normally take four-to-six weeks to heal if they're just bone ailments. If other internal pieces are indeed impacted, the victim would need to remain in the hospital for an extended stay. Nelson stayed in the hospital through Sunday but was back at Lambeau Field the following morning.
The Packers will likely go into AT&T Stadium without the league leader in touchdown receptions at their disposal. Aaron Rodgers hasn't been to that stadium since hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February 2011. Six years later, he's still looking to do it for the second time, but without Nelson, his hopes took a hard-hitting blow to the ribs.
Head coach Mike McCarthy's plan may or may not change regarding Nelson's work through the duration of the week now with the news of his detrimental injury.
"Talking with the medical staff, he's going to be in their rehab group through Friday," McCarthy said in his Monday afternoon presser. "On Saturday, if he can practice, then he may have a chance. But we're not going to do anything till Saturday, so I'll probably know more about where Jordy Stands come Friday."
If there's any buoyancy to the situation, Rodgers and the team's offense looked like they hadn't missed a beat for the final 41 minutes of their win over the Giants on Sunday. Even without Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams set the receiving record for most combined yardage by any two Packers receivers in team history. Jared Cook remained as a third-down option that Rodgers could hit easily on a slant or post across the middle against what was originally deemed as one of the best defense in the league.
The Giants defense was ranked second in points per game allowed with an average of 17.8, but in Green Bay, the Packers put up 38 against them.
The Cowboys have a worse defensive unit than the Giants do in terms of total yards given up per game this season, but not by much. New York gives up an average of 339.7, while Dallas sits at 343.9.
Reverting back to the Nelson-less 2015 version of themselves seems far-fetched, but there's no guarantee that there will be smooth-sailing for the Packers without the core piece to their skill position players either.
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