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“It’s very important for Jordy Nelson to catch the football from Aaron Rodgers. That’s something that can’t get lost in his coming back,” McCarthy said. “Jordy’s human. Aaron throws the football differently than the other quarterbacks we have here. So it’s important for him to get that timing to see the football come out of his hand and get his head around when the ball’s in the air.”
While it’s unlikely the Packers’ Pro Bowl receiver will play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against Kansas City, Nelson told reporters Sunday that he’s expecting to participate in 11-on-11 team periods during practice this week.
It would be the first time Nelson has stepped on the field for full-speed work since he injured his left knee last August in Pittsburgh.
Their response was another 75-yard drive in five plays that began with Cook drawing a 30-yard defensive pass interference penalty.
With 20 seconds left in the half, Rodgers then threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Adams across the middle of the field despite a Jacksonville defender grabbing the quarterback’s jersey at the time he threw it.
On the other end, Adams fought off a defensive pass interference penalty by former Packers cornerback Davon House to propel the Packers ahead, 21-17 at halftime.
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That’s what Nelson wants to get back to. He’s not there yet, calling September the “ultimate target date,” but at this point there’s no reason to think he won’t hit it.
“I’m excited to play,” he said. “I think I said when (the injury) happened it would be the first time in 18 years I hadn’t played football in the fall. I’m excited to get back out there. I told my wife I’m excited to be sore. It’s a good sore to have. We look forward to that, but again, it’s a long ways away.”
Nelson isn’t the only Packers receiver awaiting clearance. Ty Montgomery also sat out of Tuesday’s practice as he recovers from season-ending ankle surgery. Like Nelson, he’s happy with his rehab and anxious to get back on the field.
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When exactly that will be for Nelson is yet to be determined, but he says he’ll be ready whenever that day finally arrives.
“We said OTAs was going to be up for debate and there’s a lot more higher-ups than me,” Nelson said. “Obviously, they’re being smart and they’re probably doing the Green Bay Packers jersey right thing. But you always push the limit.”
As Brett Favre’s backup for two separate four-year stints in Green Bay, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson surely has plenty of stories he could share with his new protégé, rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.
That’s not to say his game didn’t get some work, though. Another way he has learned from Rodgers is bringing intense competitiveness to his scout-team work. Rodgers’ famous “belt” celebration originated after successful plays while running the scout team behind Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
Hundley didn’t mention any practice antics of his own, but whether he was pretending to be Eli Manning, Dak Prescott or Matt Ryan, he played those snaps with as much gusto as Rodgers used to.
Synonymous with the Lambeau Leap, Butler’s popularity in Green Bay remains unmatched to this day, but he also knows he doesn’t have the transcendent appeal of Brett Favre and White. Playing in the NFL’s smallest market also can make it more difficult to gain traction on a national level.
Former teammate, Edgar Bennett, and Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf have spoken fervently over the years about Butler possessing the necessary credentials. Yet, his phone has been silent every November when the semifinalists are announced.