GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers are taking an ultra-conservative approach with Jordy Nelson’s on-field football work, but apparently the Pro Bowl wide receiver has the go-ahead to play some softball this weekend.
“Everyone’s scared of it, but I’m not," Nelson said Monday about the possibility of re-injuring his right knee, in which he tore the ACL during an Aug. 23 preseason game at Pittsburgh. "You can’t run from it. You have to get out there sometime.”
Nelson, who missed all of last season because of the injury, has been limited to on-the-side route running and pitch-and-catch with quarterback Aaron Rodgers during organized team activity practices, even though the wide receiver said last week that “If there’s a game Sunday, I’m playing.”
Well, there is a game Sunday -- Nelson’s annual charity softball game. And speaking with reporters after Monday’s OTA practice, which he again spent mostly as a spectator, Nelson said he’s planning to be on the field at Fox Cities Stadium in nearby Grand Chute, Wisconsin. This marks Nelson’s third game as the headliner for the offense-versus-defense showdown, following Brett Favre (2000-2007) and Donald Driver (2008-2013).
“I've not been told not to do it, so we'll be out there,” Nelson said.
Nelson reiterated Monday that while he understands and appreciates the Packers’ cautious approach to his comeback, he is eager to be back on the football field like the rest of his teammates -- and that he's not afraid of suffering another injury.
“It’s not fun watching. I watched enough last year. I don’t need to do any more of it,” Nelson said. “[I] want to get out there, want to get back. It’s not just getting out there. I just need to make sure I’m ready to go come training camp and regular season. That’s where I’m trying to get to. I know where I need to be mentally and physically.
“There’s nothing physically that’s holding me back. I’m not trying to push it and be ridiculous about anything, but I want to be at a certain spot when I leave here that come training camp, I’m ready to go and don’t have to work my way into it.”
For now, though, Nelson will have to settle for the softball diamond.
“I don’t think you can be scared of it. I wasn’t scared of it before it happened. I won’t be scared of it to happen again,” Nelson said. “The way it happened in Pittsburgh, you can’t prevent that. You can’t run from it. Eventually, you have to practice. Eventually, you have to play in a game. And I’m going to play in the preseason, so I need it."