GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw Jordy Nelson's way 149 times last season, but now that he's lost Nelson to a season-ending ACL tear, he has to figure out where to go with all those targets.
"Jordy is an incredible receiver," Rodgers said Wednesday in his first public comments since Nelson's season-ending knee injury was confirmed. "He got a lot of targets, the most targets [on the team] last year. That's because he was open the most."
"When you go back and watch the film from last year, I mentioned in the spring, Davante was open a lot," Rodgers said. "Davante ran some great routes, and he's a talented guy. I think his opportunities go up, and everybody else kind of falls in line there. The third receiver's going to get some opportunities. We have a talented two-headed run game, a great offensive line. We're going to have good balance this year. There's going to be some one-on-ones outside, and we look for matchups, so that third guy could get the matchup and is going to need to produce."
Either way, Rodgers almost certainly won't get much, if any, more game action with them in the preseason. Considering three of his five starting offensive linemen -- David Bakhtiari (knee), Josh Sitton (ankle) and T.J. Lang (concussion) -- probably won't play in Saturday's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, coach Mike McCarthy might consider holding out Rodgers as well.
Rodgers probably won't play in the preseason finale on Sept. 3, either.
Given that Rodgers called preseason games "meaningless" after Nelson got hurt on Sunday at Pittsburgh, it should come as no surprise that he said Wednesday he's gotten enough work in to be ready for the Sept. 13 opener at Chicago.
"We're right where we need to be," Rodgers said. "We've had some productive drives when we've been out there. I'm happy where we're at. We have some guys banged up right now, so not sure what the playing time will be, but whatever Mike decides, I'm confident we'll be ready when the season starts."