Jordy Nelson has [been] ruled out for Sunday's game at Dallas. "Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Gray will not medically clear him to practice tomorrow," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. When asked if Nelson could play in the NFC Championship Game if the Packers move on, McCarthy said: "We'll re-evalute Monday. He's actually in the training room now going through a workout"
This doesn’t come as a huge shock given what we had learned about his injury since New York Giants safety Leon Hall speared Nelson in the ribs with his helmet. Nelson had to spend the night in a hospital and was diagnosed with two fractured ribs. Then the Packers said he might practice on Saturday, and might be able to play. Everything about that said he wouldn’t play, and they have now made that official.
This is obviously a huge blow for the Packers. Nelson is their number one wide receiver, and on a team that depends on the passing game to cover for an anemic running game, that is a massive hole. The Packers do have competent receiver depth; Randall Cobb is a very good receiver and Davante Adams can explode at any time. Jared Cook can also do damage from the tight end position.
But Nelson is a huge piece of the puzzle. We documented all the ways that he makes the Packers’ offense better, and how they can look ordinary when he’s not hitting on all cylinders with Rodgers. One piece of that article:
Over the past five years Rodgers’ completion percentage is 66.6% with Nelson, 61.4% without him. His QB rating goes from 108.1 with Nelson to 97.7 without him. And his yards per attempt are 8 with Nelson, 6.8 without him.
The Packers want to win a shootout, without Nelson, it gets that much harder.