Monday show that the knee injury Nelson sustained Sundayin the first quarter of a preseason game at Pittsburgh is a torn ACL, then Nelson’s season is over and the Packers’ high-powered offense can’t possibly be the same without him.
As valuable as Cobb is — he caught 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns last season — he’s still only 5-foot-10 and best suited to play in the slot. At 6-3, Nelson is the Packers’ big-play threat on the perimeter. He was tied for the NFL lead last season in 40-plus yard touchdowns catches (with seven). Since 2011, he ranks third in the NFL with 53 catches of 25 yards or more.
Nelson is also quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target. Nelson caught a career-high 98 passes last season and had 85 the year before. Last season, Rodgers threw his way 149 times. Only three receivers — Demaryius Thomas (with 185), Antonio Brown (180) and Julio Jones (163) — were targeted more, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
No wonder Rodgers was so downtrodden after the game.
“It’s difficult to lose a guy like that in a meaningless game,” the quarterback said.