No Need To Panic In Green Bay Over The Loss Of Jordy Nelson
The Green Bay Packers were one of the favorites to go the Super Bowl this year. With wide receiver Randall Cobb re-signing with the team this offseason, the team had all their weapons back. Everyone was expecting this offense to be prolific with the Aaron Rodgers pulling the strings. The only thing they had to do is make it through the preseason healthy. The Green Bay Packers were healthy so far until their second preseason game. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson, a consistent veteran on the team, caught a pass and without anyone touching him, crumbled on the field. At that point, the Packers and their fans had their collective hearts in their throats. They were hoping the injury was not serious, but they knew it could be due to the nature of what happened. Earlier this week, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin went down without contract and was grabbing his knee. The result for him was a torn ACL. Well, after hoping for the best, the Packers got the same injury news the Panthers got on Benjamin. Nelson has been confirmed to have a torn ACL and will be lost for the season. And just like that, many began to question whether the Packers still had enough in the passing game to get it done. Well, the answer is unequivocally yes.
Losing a top receiver is never easy. And quite honestly, it will be very hard for Green Bay to replace Nelson in the lineup. But the Packers do have one weapon that can cause stress on the defense with his versatility. His name is Randall Cobb. The 5th year wide receiver out of the University of Kentucky had his best year as a pro last season. His 91 catches and 1,287 yards were second to Nelson on the Packers team. Cobb isn’t the offensive deep threat that Nelson is, but he is definitely more versatile. Over his time in Green Bay, he has lined up in a multitude of spots. That ability to line up in the backfield, in the slot and potentially in the Wildcat formation at quarterback can give defenses fits. And with Nelson out, expect Mike McCarthy and crew to get the ball in Cobb’s hands as much as possible. With him involved more, look for more quick strike things like bubble screens and crossing patterns so Cobb can use his skills. And along with the offensive abilities, Cobb can also be a spark in the return game for the Packers. When he first came in the NFL, he was dynamic as a punt and kickoff returner. With those skills, they Packers need to make sure and use them as much as possible.
Cobb will definitely be utilized more and will have some huge numbers this season, but he needs someone else to help him out in the passing game. And that help will more than likely come from a man that the Packers have a tremendous amount of belief in. Second-year wide receiver Devante Adams showed flashes of brilliance last season when given the opportunity. His seven reception, 117 yard game against the Dallas Cowboys in the postseason only furthered the belief the team had in him. Heading into this season, the Packers were sold on the fact that Adams could be the third wide receiver behind Nelson and Cobb. Well, that plan has been altered for now. With Nelson out for the year, Adams now has to step into the starting lineup. He has the size at 6’2” to give defensive backs problems. And at that size with the skills he has with the ball in his hands, he could give defenses fits. Of course the biggest thing is he has to be consistent for the Packers this season. Last year, he was inconsistent when given opportunities. But the Packers could afford his inconsistencies with Nelson and Cobb on the field. This season, he will be looked at to make it happen opposite of Cobb. And with more targets from Rodgers, he will definitely have plenty of opportunities to make it happen. The big question will be can he take advantage of more opportunities. The Packers think that he can.
The Packers still have championship aspirations despite the loss of their best wide receiver. And through drafting well, the team has two weapons that can make it happen in the passing game. You couple these two with the running game of the Packers (led by Eddie Lacy) and the Surgeon, Aaron Rodgers, at quarterback, and the Packers still have a very dangerous offensive team. Nelson will be missed, but the beat goes on in Green Bay. And contrary to popular belief, the Pack still have enough to win a title offensively.