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Broken-Spirited Nelson Suffers two rib Fractures, Unlikely to play Against Cowboys

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Broken-Spirited Nelson Suffers two rib Fractures, Unlikely to play Against Cowboys

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.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (33) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tundraboy's picture

Whatever happened to hitting with your shoulder. This helmet spearing is out of control.

Nick Perry's picture

That's a good point TB. To take it further the players know they'll be getting a letter from the league offices with some kind of fine but just don't care. I understand it's competition, things happen so quickly where a player can move just a few inches this way or that and something like this happens. This wasn't one of those times though, Hall lead with the crown of the helmet.

Lphill's picture

and no flag on the play. just like the face mask to Ripkowski?

Savage57's picture

They missed Datone trying to get his quota of bone-head penalties when he had his hands all up in Eli's face, so it kind of washed the miss on Ripkowski.

I'm more disappointed Leon Hall made it out of Green Bay under his own power.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"I'm more disappointed Leon Hall made it out of Green Bay under his own power."

The Packers almost never do that. And I agree if there was not intent that a tit or tat series of retribution should not occur. If there is intent then I think there should be a response. I think Adams stood up for Rodgers on an endzone hit earlier in the year.

dobber's picture

The Packers got their revenge by flatlining the Giants' season.

What's this I hear that they trashed their jet on the way back to NY?

Since '61's picture

Heal up Jordy, you're not done yet. Let's see what happens with Jordy during the week. If there is no internal damage, which I doubt since he was back with the Packers this morning, we might be able to tape up his ribs and double or triple up his padding and use him as a decoy against Dallas. He could run up the sidelines and take 2 Cowboy defenders with him. Then he could always just go out of bounds and avoid being hit once the ball is thrown to another receiver. Best wishes for a complete and quick recovery Jordy. Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

They'd have to shoot him up pretty good. Doing anything with broken ribs is hard...just breathing, for instance.

Savage57's picture

Truth. And Lord help him if he has to cough. I've had the displeasure of broken ribs and it seems like blinking your eyes can make you wince.

dobber's picture

It makes something as trivial as rolling over while sleeping a jarring experience. I didn't get a good night's sleep for a month.

Ferrari Driver's picture

And, whatever you do, don't cough. The pain of a single broken/cracked rib is awful for at least a full week and that is with doing nothing but walking.

Much worse than the old hip pointer and those were pretty darn painful and seem to stay that way for much of the season.

Nick Perry's picture

Can they sign James Jones? The guy does catch TD's and knows the Offense. It's not completely crazy.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Geronimo is better than him at this point.

Nick Perry's picture

Your probably right... I do like Geronimo too. I was surprised he wasn't more involved yesterday

DrealynWilliams's picture

Not so fast, Jeremy. Don't overlook experience and football IQ for pure talent.

MrFitz66's picture

James Jones had some good years, great hands, but slow. The Packers believe in those who are on the roster and Allison has earned his chance and is a tall receiver, something we haven't always had. I have hoped for several years Janis would get it together and run a proper route to get Rodgers and McCarthy to trust him. But he just can't take that step up for some reason. Still a special teams ace. Allison has looked good, better then our draft pick Davis. I will miss Nelson's home run ability, he is a great receiver and a class act. But Allison is going to be a good option as the 3rd WR and might surprise all of us with a BIG game in Dallas.

Ferrari Driver's picture

I hope he does well, but when Nelson plays Allison generally gets in the game without one of the teams better CB's covering him. We saw how James Jones production diminished when he started getting covered by the teams better players.

croatpackfan's picture

I can not envision that Dallas will play either of their 2 top CB on Geronimo. Because it means they will leave Davante or Randall with their 3rd option or S or ILB. No way! Geronimo will get 3rd CB on himself, probably without help in the back!

Handsback's picture

Too bad about Jordy. Just another casualty for the Packers. Hard to understand why, but you play with whos available.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I found the snap counts interesting. Randall, Hyde, Gunter, Burnett, and Dix all played every snap. Brice played 23 snaps of a possible 65. That means:
5.35 DBs on average on the field
1.65 ILBs on average on the field
2.17 OLBs on average on the field
1.83 DL on average (1.59 exc. Jones and Peppers).
Perry played just 22 (34%) of 65 possible snaps.

Clearly, Capers invited NY to run the ball by playing mostly 2-4-5, with some 1-4-6. I don't remember seeing Burnett line up at ILB (Burnett provided the bracket coverage on OJB usually) but he may have done so. So, often we had a front 6 and 5 DBs. This helps explain the minimal pass rush, though it was still underwhelming given a 17.4% blitz rate (per McGinn). I don't think Capers will invite Dallas to run.

dobber's picture

Isn't that essentially what they did to the Giants when they played earlier in the season? I haven't looked at those snap counts, but they played nickel and dime for almost all of that game.

PETER MAIZ's picture

My best goes to Jordy and family.

fthisJack's picture

they need to make the penalty for spearing a lot harsher to eliminate that dirty hit from the game. say, offending player misses as many games as the victim plus a yuge fine! i'm still pissed about it.

Finwiz's picture

I didn't know that was illegal until Perreria said it later on. I thought it was only illegal if it was above the shoulders but apparently not. The refs were awful in that game, but I'll tell you I have no idea what constitutes pass interference anymore. They could have called that about 5-6 times on both teams, not to mention the missed face mask calls. Sucks that the Pack finally gets rollin, and they lose their top receiver. I think if he didn't have any chance of playing that MM would have come right out and said so because he doesn't operate that way. They might be planning on running him as a decoy or quick outs. I'll admit this is probably "wishfull" thinking.

4zone's picture

This WR corp is not the same as last year's without Jordy. Not by a long shot. My dad had fractured ribs and it can make even breathing painful. Jordy my man don't be stupid. Another hard hit in that area could do serious damage. Not worth it. Take care of yourself, and igive it a few weeks. Save it for the SB.

chugwater's picture

Does anyone know of Rollins will be able to play? That would help our secondary vs Dez.

Their WRs aren't world beaters, but they are a solid group.

Savage57's picture

Having Rollins in the secondary probably helps Dallas more than the Packers.

Idiot Fan's picture

Rollins has definitely struggled outside, but with Gunter and Randall both available, Rollins can play in the slot where he seems to be better suited and has had stretches of quality play this year. I think him being available would be a boon.

4zone's picture

Adams, much better than last year. Cobb is a totally different receiver this year. He's playing with serious attitude. Montgomery is everywhere G-Mo, another guy make'n plays and Cook is a big difference maker.

AR is smoken hot right now and the Cowboy secondary is not quite as good a last weeks. I think Michael is showing enough to possibly take that next step. Man that guy can hit the hole fast and hard. One hole is all he needs to take it to the house on any given play. As bad as we were in the skid, this team has been something else in 'the run'.

porupack's picture

Not sure about "broken spirited". Seems like no lack of spirit. Most of the article is about broken ribs. So unless you get a quote from someone on his broken spirit, then maybe it shouldn't be projected on him. Sure, he's gotta be disappointed if he can't play in next games...but that's diffrn ting.

Jersey Al's picture

If you saw the picture that accompanied this article when it was the feature post, you would have understood the headline. Think I'm going to make it a requirement to include the pic in the post as well...

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

"Rib injuries normally take four-to-six weeks to heal"

Coincidentally, Nelson injured his ribs exactly 4 weeks from Super Bowl Sunday. Heal up, Jordy! We'll need you Feb. 5th!

croatpackfan's picture

Once again - we do not know what kind of injury Jordy has. It might be partial fracture of 2 ribs, which can heal completely in 10 days with anyone, including me... Jordy is trained athlete and guy who is known as speed healer (he has that type of organism!), so, supported with some healing inhanced medicaments he might be ready. Personaly I would rather wait with this Dallas game and prepare him for next game (hopefully!)...
Also, it is strong argument that if he had some additional damage on the tissue surounding injury, he would not walked out of hospital so soon...
Do not predicts doom just out of your fears. I believe that we will see more Jordy yet in this campaign...
P. S. If anyone had ribs contusion can be evidence to how painful can it be - even when nothing is broken...

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