Packers young receivers responding with Nelson sidelined
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers continue to wait for standout wide receiver Jordy Nelson to start practicing in training camp.
''Status quo. I really have no updates,'' coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday.
That's OK with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Minus Nelson, the team's prolific pass catcher who is on the physically unable to perform list, Rodgers is taking advantage of throwing more passes to a promising group of young receivers.
And the two-time NFL MVP likes what he's seen early in camp.
''There's going to be a lot of great competition,'' Rodgers said. ''That's exciting as a quarterback.''
The competition has been compelling already with Nelson sidelined because of a knee injury he sustained while working out before camp started last week. Nelson called the injury to his left knee ''a hiccup.''
When asked how he is progressing, Nelson responded, ''Great,'' as he quickly passed through the locker room before practice Wednesday night.
After Randall Cobb, who like Nelson has been entrenched as a starter the past few years, the Packers have several candidates for anywhere from three to five spots. The latter number may be a stretch, however.
''It's fun to watch,'' Rodgers said.
So far, returning wideouts Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis have earned praise from Rodgers and McCarthy with their performances in camp.
Ditto for rookies Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison.
Adams, in particular, has stood out this week with some big catches on deep throws from Rodgers.
''You definitely see him going and making plays, high-pointing the football and winning those one-on-one battles,'' offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said. ''But you also see him improving the overall route running.''
Those attributes are reminiscent of the latter part of Adams' rookie season in 2014, when he had a couple of breakout performances, including seven catches for 117 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys.
But Adams, a second-round draft pick, struggled in a more prominent role with Nelson sidelined for the 2015 season because of a torn ACL in his right knee.
Adams averaged just 9.7 yards per catch with only one touchdown in a season hindered by an ankle injury early on and then a knee injury that kept him out of the playoff loss at the Arizona Cardinals.
A healthy Adams is responding in a desirable way this summer.
''My body's feeling good, and you know, I'm making some plays and keep earning that trust with Aaron,'' he said. ''Coach is happy, so I've just got to keep working.''
Meanwhile, third-year pros Abbrederis and Janis are hoping to build off significant contributions they gave the offense at the end of last season.
And with Ty Montgomery also on the PUP list after he missed most of his rookie season in 2015 with an ankle injury that required surgery, newcomers such as Davis and Allison are getting quality reps early in camp.
The Packers took the speedy Davis in the fifth round of this year's draft, intrigued by his capabilities as a kick returner, and the 6-foot-3 Allison is a big target as an undrafted rookie.
''It'll be nice to get, obviously, Jordy back and Ty back, whenever that happens,'' Rodgers said.
NOTES: RB Eddie Lacy left practice Wednesday night for an undisclosed reason, but later rejoined his teammates on the field. ... T Bryan Bulaga (knee), DT Mike Daniels (personal), LB Jake Ryan (hamstring) and QB Brett Hundley (ankle) didn't practice. McCarthy said Hundley, who is working as the top backup to Rodgers, was nicked in practice Monday. RB James Starks returned to practice after being out Monday.
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