Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson: The comeback kid

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Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers /

‘ wide receiver who sat out all of 2015, not only demonstrated over the past 16 weeks that he was missed last season, but why he is so important to his team.

Today, the Professional Football Writers Association named Nelson as its comeback player of the year.

Nelson caught 97 passes for 1,257 yards (13 yard average) and scored 14 times. He was fifth in receptions and sixth in yards.

Nelson played in all 16 games this year, but was injured early in the Packers’ first playoff game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field and missed the Divisional Round game at Dallas.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via USA TODAY Sports /

It’s unclear if the two fractured ribs he suffered in that playoff game will keep him out of this weekend’s Championship Game in Atlanta, but one thing is for certain – the nine-year veteran was a huge reason as to why the Packers roared through the final half of the season with a winning streak that helped crown Green Bay as the NFC North Division champion for the fifth time in six years.

In fact, if the Packers move on to the Super Bowl this season, that accomplishment will be legitimized because of Nelson’s work – whether he plays in Atlanta or not.

Back before this season started, I penned a piece that was based on reasons specific players would help the Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl LI.

Nelson was one of those players.

Green Bay has MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center; they’ve got one of, if not the best receiving corps in all of football – when healthy; and they’ve got a defense that has bent, for the most part, but not broken- especially down the stretch of this season.

Add in the fact that the Packers were three minutes away from the Super Bowl two seasons ago – even though they had a quarterback playing on one leg. Though the team’s downturn on the offensive end of the field has been well documented, there are plenty of good arguments as to why the Packers were to once again be in the running for a berth in the 51st Super Bowl.

And one of the most important cogs in the wheel of success in 2016 for the Green Bay Packers has been the wide receivers led by Jordy Nelson.

Could there be a better wide receiver to come along for the Green Bay Packers in recent times?

Oh, one could argue the Greg Jennings was pretty good half a decade ago and a guy by the name of Donald Driver had a pretty good career in Green Bay.

But when you look at the past few seasons for Nelson, he has been the Packers number one receiver. With speed, athleticism and toughness, Nelson has become feared across the league.

Teams that leave Nelson single covered on the outside are asking for trouble. We’ve seen him time and again catch that Aaron Rodgers laser, elude one cornerback, cut back and leave a safety grasping at air. His value is beyond reproach and he is a major player in the Packers drive toward another Super Bowl.

Let’s take a closer look and why Nelson was poised to once again play such an important role in the Packers success.

Next: What Jordy brings to the Packers