Green Bay Packers leave door open for WR Jordy Nelson to play Sunday

By The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 21, 2017 at 1:27 AM
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The current injury to Jordy Nelson brought the worst pain of his life, but the Green Bay Packers' leading receiver is determined to be on the field for Sunday's NFC Championship Game despite broken ribs.

Nelson did not play at Dallas last week because of the injury and was limited in practice all week as the Packers wrap up preparation for the Atlanta Falcons. For context on his personal pain spectrum, Nelson missed the entire 2015 season with a torn knee ligament.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that Nelson (ribs) and fellow receivers Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) would likely be game-time decisions.

But there also is another development to watch -- Nelson, kicker Mason Crosby and quarterback Aaron Rodgers are battling illnesses.

"Rest, fluids, all that stuff," Rodgers told reporters. "We'll be OK. Jordy had it. Mason had it. I got it. We'll deal with it."

Meanwhile, Nelson was named Pro Football Writers Association Comeback Player of the Year on Friday.

He'll need another rally to face the Falcons in what McCarthy considered a longshot at midweek.

But McCarthy also said the circumstances are different than any other game, which is why he won't rule out Nelson, Adams and Allison.

"All three of the receivers will be given every chance to play in the game," McCarthy said. "They have work to do, particularly in the rehab (group). If we know tomorrow, then we'll know tomorrow. If we know Sunday, then we'll know Sunday. One or two of those guys are probably going to have to work out Sunday."

Nelson took a hit in the midsection from New York Giants safety Leon Hall in the wild-card round. That hit in the second quarter has kept him from being fully functional on the field. As of Wednesday, Nelson said breathing was still a challenge.

When he went to the locker room at Lambeau Field after the initial shot, Nelson said he was "bent over the training table" in the "worst pain I've ever felt."

Nelson said his own health assessment won't be enough to get the green light for the conference championship in the Georgia Dome. His own safety, a detailed evaluation from the Packers' medical staff and on-field work all need to align in his favor to gain clearance.

"I've never played receiver with broken ribs," Nelson said. "We'll find out, hopefully. I don't know if you can prepare. It's one of those things that you'll figure out when you get out there. If it happens, we'll see how it goes. But right now, I'm just focused on getting back to full motion and doing everything and seeing if we can get that opportunity. It would be a great chance to have."

Adams said it would take a lot to keep him from playing Sunday. He returned to the divisional playoff win over the Cowboys after his ankle was rolled. Allison also went down in that game.

"It's a mental game right now," Nelson said.

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