GREEN BAY, Wis. — Receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the Green Bay Packers’ divisional round playoff game on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys because of injured ribs.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that Nelson would not be cleared to take part in the team’s final practice on Saturday, and the medical staff determined he would not be ready for the game.
Nelson had an NFL-high 14 touchdown catches in the regular season as quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ top target in the Packers’ prolific passing attack. He was hurt in the second quarter of the Packers’ 38-13 win in a wild-card game last weekend against the New York Giants during a hit by safety Leon Hall.
Team doctors “don’t feel — frankly they just would not medically clear him for Sunday,” McCarthy said Friday.
McCarthy said Nelson’s status moving forward will be determined on Monday if Green Bay advances to the NFC title game.
“He says he feels better every day,” McCarthy said. “We’ll have to answer that question Monday.”
The offense struggled to hit big plays in 2015 with Nelson sidelined the entire season with a knee injury. The Packers may be better prepared now to play without him. Green Bay proved last week that it could win without Nelson , scoring all their points after the receiver was knocked out with 11 minutes left in the second quarter.
Randall Cobb returned last week from an ankle injury and caught three touchdowns, including a 42-yard score on a Hail Mary pass. Davante Adams has emerged as a playmaker in his third NFL season with 12 touchdown catches.
Undrafted rookie free agent Geronimo Allison stepped up in Cobb’s two-game absence at the end of the regular season with eight catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. Jared Cook has given Rodgers an athletic target at tight end that the Packers haven’t had the last couple seasons.
At running back, former receiver Ty Montgomery adds versatility and presents a potential matchup problem in the passing game.
“Well, we feel we have playmakers at a number of different positions and I think we’ll certainly create opportunities,” offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said Thursday about the possibility of not having Nelson. “It’s always about matchups and we’re excited to have the opportunity to go into Dallas this week.”