Jordy Nelson ranked fifth in the NFL in catches with 97, fourth in yards with 1,257 and first in receiving touchdowns (14). But the Packers likely have to do without their leading receiver against the Cowboys.
Nelson fractured ribs against the Giants and spent Sunday night in the hospital. Packers coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t say whether Nelson had internal injuries, but he also wouldn’t rule Nelson out.
“We shall see. We shall see what they’re going to do,” Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr said Tuesday. “But you know a team like that, where a lot of veteran guys and a quarterback who can make all the throws, I don’t think it matters who he has out there as his weapons. He’s going to find those guys.”
Nelson, the leading candidate for comeback player of the year after missing last season with a right knee injury, made only five catches for 68 yards against the Cowboys earlier this season. He had only one catch for 13 yards before leaving against the Giants.
Aaron Rodgers ended up throwing four touchdowns after Nelson left the game.
“We’ve still got to go cover the receivers,” Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne said. “Even with him out, they’ve got some guys out there who can run routes, guys who can get down the field and stretch the field. No matter who’s out there, we just have to be on top of our technique and on top of our game plan.”
In the Cowboys’ 30-16 victory over Green Bay in Week 6, Rodgers passed for only 294 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Cowboys defenders reminded reporters of that Tuesday when they repeatedly were asked how to stop the red-hot Rodgers.
“Well, our group is pretty good, too,” Claiborne said. “Right now it’s not about them; it’s about us and the way we’re playing. We’re playing good football as well. We just have to get it, get after it on the front line, and we have to cover on the back end.”