It’s no great secret that the key to victory for Atlanta is slowing down the Packers’ attack. Green Bay is going to need to turnovers to slow down the Falcons’ offense, but this Aaron Rodgers-led offense is one of the few in the NFL that’s capable of keeping up with the Falcons. Rodgers is a wizard, but there’s little question that he’d be even better if Jordy Nelson returned.
Nelson suffered some pretty serious injuries in the first playoff game against the Giants, and he was unavailable against the Cowboys. It turns out the Packers were able to win without him, sure, but Nelson reeled in 14 touchdowns this season from Rodgers. In the red zone, in particular, that would come in awfully handy.
Will they get him back?
Nelson is probably going to be a gametime call, though I’m dubious that he’ll actually be able to play. He did reportedly suffer a splenic laceration (oh my lord), broken ribs (oh no) and a collapsed lung (OH NOOO) against the Giants, and expecting him to come back from all that and absorb hits from Brian Poole, Robert Alford, Jalen Collins, Keanu Neal, and Ricardo Allen seems ridiculously optimistic.
We’ll find out later today if he was able to practice, which should give us a better indication of whether we’ll see him Sunday afternoon. As someone who desperately wants the Falcons to get to the Super Bowl, I hope not.