GREEN BAY, Wis. — The broken ribs he suffered are going to prevent Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson from playing against the Cowboys in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs Sunday.
Coach Mike McCarthy announced Friday that Nelson was ruled out for the game Sunday but will travel with the team to Dallas.
“Jordy Nelson, actually, we’re going to declare him out for the game,” McCarthy said in his news conference. “Meeting with the medical staff, Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Gray will not medically clear him to practice tomorrow. He will be out for the game Sunday.
“They just would not medically clear him for Sunday. We’ll re-evaluate Monday. He’s actually in the training room now going through a workout, and he’ll continue to progress. He says he feels better every day.”
Nelson, 31, exited the win over the Giants on Sunday in the second quarter after absorbing a hard hit from safety Leon Hall along the sideline. As Nelson leaped to make a catch, Hall drove his helmet and hands into Nelson’s midsection.
The hit crumpled Nelson, who remained doubled over on the sideline for several minutes. He eventually climbed to his feet and walked gingerly to a cart, which took him to the locker room. His final destination was a local hospital.
Hall wasn’t fined by the league for his hit.
“It gives us one less receiver, but obviously [an] extremely productive player,” McCarthy said. “You just go by the way the game plan was set, the importance and really the emphasis on Jordy Nelson. So with that, that’s gone. You just tilt opportunities the other way. That’s the way you always have to approach these types of situations, anytime you have a player of his magnitude that’s not available. That’s all part of developing a game plan. You have to do that in the early stages of the week. We -anticipated potentially not having him this week. So we’ll be prepared for that.”
Without Nelson, who was always a long shot to play despite the glimmers of hope McCarthy dropped throughout the week, the majority of playing time should fall to Geronimo Allison, an undrafted rookie from Illinois. Allison performed well during extended action in Weeks 16 and 17 — he caught a crucial touchdown against the Lions to help capture the NFC North title — and offers quarterback Aaron Rodgers a different type of receiver with his tall frame and long limbs.
Earlier this week Allison brushed aside the notion that a story by the Journal Sentinel detailing his misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge was a distraction. Instead, Allison said he recognized the potential opportunity if Nelson was unable to play.
“I have a lot of confidence in Geronimo,” McCarthy said. “Not just the way he played in Detroit — it’s definitely an experience he can build off of — but really what he’s done and watch the progression that he’s made throughout the season. So he’ll be ready to go.”
NOTE: Though cornerback Quinten Rollins (neck/concussion) practiced the last two days, including a padded session Thursday, Mike McCarthy said he is still in the concussion protocol and hasn’t been cleared.
It was the first time Rollins had practiced since his scary fall against the Lions led to hospitalization.
“The work for Quinten Rollins yesterday at practice was all part of the concussion protocol sequence to get back on the field, but he’s still in the protocol,” McCarthy said. “He has not been cleared.”