Unfortunately, football is not devoid of major injuries with implications and ripple effects that have the ability to change the fantasy landscape in a split second. The Footballguys Staff were on the Jordy Nelson injury news as it happened. Below is an illustration of how it all went down, but more importantly, we share our thoughts on what this now means for Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery, even Eddie Lacy.
The Footballguys Staff are equipped with a group text feature that we only use for Breaking News situations and fantasy relevant injuries. When an event occurs that is worthy of being shared, the entire staff receives an alert text message via GroupMe. The first message comes in via Sigmund Bloom...
Sunday August 23, 2015 1:19 PM et. Sigmund Bloom
Jordy Nelson leg inj, limped off field, walking to locker room with trainers. Non Contact injury.
1:20 PM et Alessandro Miglio
Looked like he rolled his ankle to me. Limp-Jogged off immediately so hopefully not serious.
A few minutes go by with unknown details. On an alarm scale of 1-10 this was simmering at a 3-4. The fact that Nelson jogged off under his own power was refreshing, but anytime there's a non-contact injury the level of concern should be high, especially for a player of Nelson's magnitude.
1:26 PM et Joe Bryant
1:28 PM et Joe Bryant
Perfect. How did he get off field to locker room? Cart? Limp? Limp badly?
1:28 PM et Dr. Jene Bramel
Too hard to tell on my phone screen whether it's knee or ankle. Anyone have a better view and I can spec more. Otherwise it's going to be a bit before I can say more.
1:29 PM et Alessandro Miglio
He had a jogging limp, didn't stay down for more than a few seconds. He was also standing on the sideline being checked out, at least initially.
1:31 PM et Scott Bischoff
That left knee doesn't look stable when he hits the ground, perhaps because of the ankle, but it doesn't look stable to me.
1:32 PM et Alessandro Miglio
To me, either his pain tolerance is incredible (got up so fast) or it wasn't terribly serious.
1:33 PM et Keith Overton
Slightly more complete video
At this point, the discussion is moved to a staff email and 27 minutes after the injury, Joe Bryant sends out the first email to alert the 300,000+ who are signed up on the Free Daily Email Update list. If you're not signed up for this, you can do so here. It's incredibly worth it.
This is WAY early but with a player this important on a day when so many drafts are happening, we wanted to let you know.
Green Bay WR Jordy Nelson left the game after suffering what appeared to be a leg injury.
He was able to get off the field under his own power and jogged off with a slight limp. He was seen walking on the sideline and then standing on the sideline as the medical people checked him.
So it doesn't look to be overly serious. Or possibly not serious at all. But I know guys are drafting right now so we wanted to send you an alert.
Thanks to the Footballguys Staffers for the heads up here. Have a great Sunday.
The Speculation Begins
Packers Beat Writers tweet out information
Jordy Nelson is walking to the locker room with no assistance. He doesn't seem to be limping or in distress at all.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) August 23, 2015
#Packers medical staff is taking WR Jordy Nelson to the locker room. He is walking, he is NOT on a cart.— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) August 23, 2015
The concern continues as the Footballguys Staff shares their opinons via email
At first I thought we might be overreacting here, but there does appear to be some discomfort for Nelson. You could tell when he was walking/running off the field he wasn't pleased. Rodgers also looked a bit unsure when Nelson jogged past him to the sideline. No GB reporters seem to be that concerned, but no word of him coming back to the field yet either. Could be nothing, could be something, esp if related to his hip (is that possible Jene)?
Just saw this come across the timeline
GIF not best clarity or angle, but do NOT see an ACL tear mechanism which is always a worry on non-contact injuries. https://t.co/MOYSJ5ZgdA— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) August 23, 2015
But then there's this too
Packers announce that Jordy Nelson's injury is indeed a knee. TJ Lang's being evaluated for a concussion.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 23, 2015
And then the Bomb was dropped
The initial diagnosis on #Packers WR Jordy Nelson is a torn ACL, source said. Horrible news. Awaiting MRI results to confirm.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 23, 2015
This just got real. VERY REAL. Opinions start to come in...
Torn ACL ... Wow. Everyone gets a bump, but Janis or Adams getting a major bump
It's going to be interesting. Adams profiles as more of a slot guy. Janis had been playing outside at OTAs when Jordy was out. Adams is justifiably going to get all the hype, but Janis is a player to watch as Nelson's direct backup. He carries plenty of appeal as a late round lottery ticket until we know for sure how the wide receiver snaps are divvied up in Nelson's absence. At this point, I'd prefer stashing Janis on my bench over the low ceiling veteran wide receivers typically available in the tenth round of fantasy drafts, or later.
Randall Cobb becomes part of the elite tier (if you didn't have him that way already) and Davante Adams is the big winner as he becomes a top 20 WR almost by default. Also gives Janis a new lease on life after a tough preseason. Rodgers remains elite, although the gap between Luck and Aaron widens a smidge.
Bump Davante Adams for early season DFS
Davante Adams is clear and away a better athlete and receiver than Janis is, and in that offense I'd move Adams up as I see him easily a WR2 at this point. He's going to get a good amount of volume.
Note this on Janis ... I wouldn't rule out Ty Montgomery being the 3rd: Packers WR Jeff Janis Struggling in Camp
Am I the only one that expects more targets for the TE Rodgers?
Joe Bryant (to Dr. Jene Bramel)
When "initial diagnosis is torn acl. Awaiting mri" What is your best guess percentage that he adctually has a torn acl? 75% 99% In other words, how often does it happen when the MRI does not confirm the initial dianosis?
Craig Zumsteg (to Joe)
New injury guy here, so I'd defer to Jene. But from what I see, we're talking 99% if the initial diagnosis is ACL. Initial diagnosis is a mechanical test where they test the laxity of the knee. This is very accurate and good at distinguishing ACL from other ligaments. The MRI usually just assesses the severity of the ACL injury, and doesn't typically provide much new info. Possible that we're talking a less-than-total ACL tear, and that would show up on MRI. Even if that's the case though, we're still looking at IR, no doubt.
Dr. Jene Bramel (to Joe)
Very likely. If Rap (Ian Rapoport) has a reliable source, 95% or higher. An experienced doc doing an exam shouldn't be fooled. I can't remember an instance where a combination of right mechanism and good source proved to be wrong.
Perfect. That's what I needed.
Dr. Jene Bramel
I would guess they would try to have an MRI today, but it may not be until tomorrow morning. Not emergent.
Can you unpack "Not emergent?"
Dr. Jene Bramel
Yes, sideline exams are reliable for NFL medical staff. An MRI almost always confirms. If Ian Rapoport's source is good, expect to hear a confirmation soon. Also - NFL teams send players to a facility. Only Cincinnati has an MRI machine in their stadium (the last I knew). The exam would have to be scheduled. They are not likely to call in an MR tech unless there's a major concern over the weekend.
How about this? Be sure to read what Rapoport says here. "Initial diagnosis". The MRI has the final say. But clearly, this looks awful right now. It's possible we won't have official word on the MRI until tonight or even tomorrow. I don't know the doctor who made the diagnosis but Rapoport is a reliable reporter and I'm going to assume the Green Bay physician is a top doctor. Sideline exams are reliable for NFL medical staff and the MRI almost always confirms. If Rapoport's source is good, expect to hear confirmation soon.
Dr. Jene Bramel
From a fantasy standpoint there are a lot of players with the opportunity to fill the void to some capacity, but the loss of Nelson's skill to win anywhere on the field and his consistency to get open and read the field is a major loss for the Packers. Adams is not nearly as intelligent of a player, Janis is inconsistent on a good day, and Abbrederis only has Nelson's smarts and hands.
I'll second the uptick for TE Rodgers.
Also, it cannot be under estimated what a great quarterback can do with even average receivers. I think back to Peyton Manning making almost stars out of Garcon & Collie when they were rookies.
Matt Waldman (to Ari)
It's a good point, but remember that Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark were healthy and had 100 receptions and 10 touchdowns apiece during Garcon's and Collie's rookie year. Collie-Garcon: 181 targets, 107 catches, 1441 yards, 11 scores--great work, but if we cannot underestimate the presence of Wayne-Clark as known commodities and earning a combined 282 targets, 200 catches, 2370 yards, and 20 scores to open up those opportunities for the youngsters.
Jason Wood (to Matt)
Wait, he still has Randall Cobb Matt. Not sure I get what you're saying
Cobb is one guy. My point is that a quarterback needs two to have a record year. I don't think collectively those inexperienced options equal Nelson in production. Clark and Wayne were two options at the top of their game when Garcon and Collie were productive enough to help Manning deliver a banner season.
I agree to a point, but Rodgers has been elite through a laundry list of receivers. He's much closer to the pack now, but I can't see him falling out of the top 2. Particularly given the uncertainty at QB this year...it's not as though Big Ben, Wilson, etc..are high conviction guys as QB3, QB4, etc..
I have a pretty high conviction for Big Ben. Brown-Bryant-Miller are more proven to me than Cobb-Adams-(name your third guy). Wheaton may be better than the Packers' second guy. Wilson, I agree because he manufactures a lot of yards with his legs and only has Graham.
I'm on the watch out for Montgomery side. He's raw as a receiver, but he has been having a strong camp and he might already be every bit as good a receiver as Janis is.
I agree with Sig, though I think I like Adams a slight bit more than Robinson/Bryant. Could make a case for him starting in the mid-4th round and he’s a steal if he makes it to the 6th. Rodgers is just so accurate and efficient that he is likely to score more points than Bryant or Robinson on a similar numbers of targets.
- In 2010, Rodgers was QB1. He didn't have a top 25 RB, and he had just one top-40 WR. His TE ranked 36th. So Rodgers has proven that he can be QB1 without much help.
- In 2008, 2009, and 2012, Rodgers ranked 1st or 2nd in scoring, didn't have a top 10 TE in any of those years, and his second WR ranked 17, 22, and 22. There was no great pass-catching back, either.
- Let's look at all QBs who (1) ranked in the top 4, (2) gained
- Philip Rivers 2010 (4th with Floyd (42nd), Crayton (79), and Gates)
- John Elway, 1993 (2nd, with Shannon Sharpe but zero 35 WRs)
- Drew Brees, 2006 (2nd, no TE, 1 WR in the top 30)
- Drew Brees, 2014 (3rd, Graham but no WR in the top 30)
- Stafford, 2013 (4th, Megatron, nothing else)
- Drew Brees, 2013 (2nd, Graham, no WR in the top 25)
Now, QB scoring is on the rise, so maybe you think to have that big year now, you do need 2 WRs. After all, Rodgers' 357 FP in 2010 would have ranked 7th last year. (However, Rodgers missed a game; pro-rate to 16 games, and his 381 points would have ranked 3rd). There's no doubt that losing Nelson harms Rodgers' ceiling, right? Well, actually, I'm not even sure about that.
In case you didn't read any of this email because you figured there would be too much awesome stats, stop and at least read this part.
Last year, Green Bay ranked 20th in pass attempts. But Rodgers had 313 pass attempts in the first halves of games, and 207 in the second halves. IOW, Rodgers ceiling from a fantasy perspective was always artificially lowered because the Packers don't stomp on the accelerator with a lead. Without Nelson, it's possible, if not probable, that any dropoff in quality (likely) will be offset by an increase in quantity. That 1st quarter TD to Nelson might just be replaced by a 4th quarter TD to Adams.
Nelson is awesome, but losing him doesn't mean Rodgers can't still be awesome. Take a look at what happened the last time the Packers lost a superstar WR: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/F/FavrBr00.htm?redir#1994-1995-sum:passing
Welp, there you have it. Good call Chase.
Just wrote this up for the FD blog, in case anyone is interested (or notices any problems):
For the Green Bay offense, I slightly lowered passing touchdowns and yards per completion. I also increased interceptions slightly. I left play counts alone. As Chase alludes to, I think less first-half efficiency leads to higher second-half output, ultimately being a wash for my play-count predictions with and without Jordy Nelson.
My Rodgers projections fell, of course, to where he's now definitively behind Luck. Considering I don't expect Luck to return on 2nd-round value, and Rodgers is now a full round worse, it's safe to say I won't own any more shares of either going forward.
Had the same thought, wonder if the Packers tell him "call us before you sign in New England."
From the post game presser. You can see the look on Rodgers' face. He doesn't look like a guy hopeful for good news tomorrow.
McCarthy hopeful. Rodgers' face revealed more. “It’s difficult to lose a guy like that in a meaningless game.” pic.twitter.com/8pdLdgvXgb— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) August 23, 2015
From our What If? Series, written 13 days ago - What if Jordy Nelson And/Or Randall Cobb Are Lost For The Season?
Jason Wood shares his thoughts on how the Packers fantasy landscape shakes out.
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