Packers limiting Nelson's work as he starts practicing
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers aren't in a hurry to get star receiver Jordy Nelson ready for the start of the season.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Saturday that Nelson, who was recently activated from the physically unable to perform list, will practice when the Packers get back on the field Monday. But Nelson will be a limited participant.
''He'll go through the individual (drills), and then we'll kind of take it from there,'' McCarthy said. ''So first things first.''
After not playing last season because of a torn ACL in his right knee, Nelson missed the first three weeks of Green Bay's training camp this summer with an injury to his other knee, which he called ''a hiccup.''
Teammates feel Nelson, a nine-year pro with more than 400 receptions, won't need much time to get acclimated with the first game of the season only three weeks away.
''I can't put a time on when another man is going to be comfortable,'' fellow receiver Davante Adams said. ''But I know Jordy, and I know he'll be ready.''
Even Nelson isn't expecting too much right away, a year after he suffered the ACL injury in a preseason game.
Nelson doesn't know if he will play Friday, when the Packers travel to San Francisco for their third of four preseason games.
''Obviously, we'll take this week's practice and see how everything goes, and we'll continue to move forward,'' Nelson said.
McCarthy said the plan is to have Nelson work a lot with quarterback Aaron Rodgers in one-on-one pass drills in practice next week even if they don't get a chance to play together in the game against the 49ers.
The goal for Nelson is to play the Sept. 11 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
''As far as I know, I'm going to be playing Week 1,'' he said.
Nelson made the comment after the Packers' 20-12 exhibition win over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.
A day after the Packers removed him from the PUP list and had him do some individual work in their closed practice, Nelson surprised many in the Lambeau Field crowd before Thursday's game. He wore his uniform, helmet and pads and went through warmups with the team, including running routes and catching passes.
''I'm sure they enjoyed it,'' Nelson said about the fans, ''especially when everyone said I wasn't suiting up (for the game), and then I went out and suited up.''
Though Nelson didn't play, he drew the biggest crowd of reporters among Packers players in their locker room after the game.
''You guys are bored, and it's the preseason,'' Nelson told them in a joking manner.
Adams, whose locker is next to Nelson's, took notice of the big media group and wondered aloud in jest why a player who only warmed up before a game would get so much attention.
''It's been big,'' Adams said about Nelson's return. ''He's a key part of this team, and he's coming back with us now, so we're excited. I would expect you guys to be excited about it, too.''
Nelson also seems happy to resume football activities. He smiled a lot on the field during the pregame warmups Thursday.
''There's a lot that's gone into it,'' Nelson said. ''It's another step in the right direction. It's another step to be ready for Jacksonville. We'll just continue to work that way.''
NOTE: McCarthy said backup QB Brett Hundley will be ''hard-pressed'' to practice next week, making him unlikely to play Friday at San Francisco. Hundley reinjured his left ankle early in the second quarter of Thursday's game on a hit by Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack just as Hundley threw a pass. ''When it happened, I screamed,'' Hundley said Saturday, adding, ''We'll take it day by day and see where it goes from there.''
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