Update: Nelson is reportedly 'very close' to returning now, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.
Jordy Nelson wants to play in the Packers' season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, but he doesn't sound particularly optimistic about it. Nelson underwent surgery on his knee two weeks ago that was expected to keep him out for the rest of the preseason.
Rehab has gone well and he's been running on a weightless treadmill, but when the question came up about whether he'd be ready Sept. 8 against the defending NFC Champions, he wasn't so certain.
"You never know," Nelson said Monday in the locker room..."Our main goal is San Fran. And that's just a goal. You never know what could happen. We'll just continue to go day by day."
Nelson says he realized shortly before the preseason that he wouldn't be able to go at 100 percent and that the short turnaround time was taken into account before deciding to go on with the procedure. He decided to "take a chance" that he'd be able to recover quickly, however, rather than playing at less than full capacity.
The 6'3 receiver out of Kansas State is a big part of Mike McCarthy's passing attack, leading the team with 1,263 yard and 15 touchdowns just two years ago. The guy who led the team in yards last year -- Randall Cobb -- is also out with a biceps injury so the Packers have had to dig deep on their depth chart.
Aaron Rodgers has seemed unfazed by the injuries, going 13-for-17 with 196 yards passing between two preseason games while still being able to find regulars James Jones and Jermichael Finleyalong with backup Jarrett Boykin.
Nelson is important, but the Packers won all four games that he missed with injury last year so he's certainly not indispensable.