GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers' locker room was closing to the media, and Jordy Nelson was about to get out scot-free. PR man Tom Fanning had issued his patented "Two minutes!" warning shout, and the veteran wide receiver was headed for the exit, about to escape without facing a single question about his health.
And when a reporter did catch Nelson, his replies weren't exactly expansive.
Are you starting to get antsy? "I'm good."
How are you handling all this? "I'm good."
But how are you going about handling it? "I'm working."
So how is "the hiccup" progressing? "It's good."
The 55-second exchange with Nelson, who missed all of last season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in an Aug. 23 preseason game and remains on the Packers' physically unable to perform list after suffering a mild injury to his left knee while working out before training camp, made one thing clear: He had no interest in discussing his health. (For good measure, he even smiled and added, "Do you want to waste another minute?" before turning toward the door again.)
But when the conversation turned to his fellow receivers, well, suddenly Nelson wouldn't shut up.
While speaking with ESPN's Chris Berman, Charles Woodson, Matt Hasselbeck and Randy Moss following the cancellation of Sunday night's Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers suggested that Nelson might be cleared for action this week, although with only two practices before Friday night's game against Cleveland at Lambeau Field, it is highly unlikely that he'd play against the Browns.
Instead, Nelson could spend another week serving as de facto assistant wide receivers coach, a role he seems to have enjoyed. With Nelson and second-year receiver Ty Montgomery (ankle) on PUP, the Packers' No. 1 offense has gone with Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Jeff Janis in its three-receiver sets but also rotated Jared Abbrederis, rookie Trevor Davis and undrafted rookie free agent Geronimo Allison -- one of the more pleasant surprises of camp -- through as well.
"They're doing a great job. They're making plays, being productive," Nelson said. "They do [have a long way to go]. But they're making progress, moving right along. They're limiting mistakes, which is big, and limiting repeat mistakes, which is even bigger. And they continue to make plays. The main thing is consistency, and that's probably what's hardest to accomplish and takes the longest time."
Nelson said Janis, who has had a quieter camp than Adams and Abbrederis, has made significant progress in his quest to win Rodgers' trust and has shown a better understanding of the system this summer.
"I think he's confident. To me, he's doing a great job of understanding what needs to be done and taking the coaching and working on it and having the comfort level," Nelson said. "You can see him taking the coaching points, whether it's from Aaron or Luke [Getsy, the team's receivers coach]. You see it out on the field. So that's a positive on all aspects."
As for Janis' progress with Rodgers, Nelson replied, "It just takes time. It's consistency again. It's not one day, it's not one meeting, it's not even one week. It's week after week after week, year after year after year."
Nelson has been impressed with what he has seen from Adams, who struggled last season after taking over for Nelson in the starting lineup and battled ankle and knee injuries throughout the year.
"He looks good. I think he's playing with more confidence, playing with more speed -- and playing healthy, which makes a big difference with him," Nelson said. "But again, it's the consistency factor with every play, you've got to make it."
And then there's Cobb, who became Rodgers' No. 1 target last season with Nelson sidelined but finished with just 79 receptions for 829 yards and six touchdowns. In 2014, Cobb caught 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns while playing alongside Nelson, who caught 98 passes for a franchise-record 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns.
No wonder Cobb -- and the rest of the receivers -- are impatiently awaiting Nelson's return.
"He's always tough on himself -- even when he has a good game, he picks it apart. He's his biggest critic and his toughest coach," Nelson said of Cobb. "But yeah, I hope they're all excited. I would feel bad if they weren't. We know what we can do as a group when we're all out there together, and we know the different attributes we each bring to make it hard on a defense. So we just need to get healthy -- everyone across the board -- and stay healthy."