Six-and-a-half weeks since sustaining a groin injury that has ruined the start to a season he hoped would lead to team success and a big payday in free agency, Greg Jennings on Thursday said he has elected to have surgery.
“It’s not season-ending,” Jennings said of the 20- to 25-minute, outpatient procedure that will be done on Tuesday.
Jennings, after missing the last three games and having seen little progress during rehab, flew to Philadelphia on Wednesday to get a second opinion on the injury from Dr. William Meyers. Jennings called the injury a tear to his rectus abdominis – the lower, outside edge of the muscles associated with six-pack abs. The injury is more commonly called a sports hernia.
“The way (Meyers) described it to me was simply two people pulling on the end of a rope and it starts to fray and the more tugging, the more fraying, which means the more tearing occurs,” Jennings said.
Jennings said he tried to test the injury before last Sunday’s game at St. Louis in hopes of being able to play on Sunday against Jacksonville. Instead, “red flags” went up, spurring Jennings to get the second opinion that he and the Packers’ medical staff had discussed previously.
Two options were discussed: a pain-killing injection and surgery. Jennings opted for surgery. He declined to put a timetable on his recovery, saying only that he’ll begin practicing when his body says it’s time.
New Orleans cornerback Jabari Greer had similar surgery done on Aug. 2. The prognosis for him was he might be out for three weeks to play in the preseason finale. Instead, he didn’t get on the field until Week 2 of the regular season – about six weeks after surgery.
Jennings sustained the injury in Week 1 against San Francisco, sat out the next week against Chicago and played the following Monday at Seattle. He aggravated the injury during the first half of the Week 4 game against New Orleans and hasn’t seen the field since his second-quarter touchdown catch in that game.
With a six-week timetable, Jennings would be on the field for the final three games: at Chicago, home to Tennessee and at Minnesota.
“In retrospect,” Jennings said, “you always wish you'd done things differently once it didn't work. But had it worked out to where I was OK, then it's like OK, it's good that I came back. But since I wasn't able to come back with a full recovery, obviously I wish I could have sat out, not came back in the Seattle game and taken more time and seen where I would have been from then. But the past is the past. You can't live in the past, you can't change the past, time keeps on ticking. So, right now, the decision and the choice that we're going with is going to get me back to 100 percent.”
Meanwhile, Jordy Nelson was held out of practice with an injured hamstring. He’ll test the injury on Saturday or Sunday. If he can’t go, the Packers would be down to James Jones, Randall Cobb, Donald Driver and rookie Jarrett Boykin.
“We have some depth at that position,” offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. “It’s unfortunate when you get injuries and guys can’t play, but there’s some depth. It’s next man up and we expect that they’ll be productive.”
Packers injury report
Out: WR Greg Jennings (groin); CB Charles Woodson (collarbone). Did not participate: FB John Kuhn (hamstring); WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring); LB Nick Perry (knee); CB Sam Shields (ankle); RB James Starks (illness). Limited: TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder); G T.J. Lang (elbow/wrist); DT B.J. Raji (ankle); C Jeff Saturday (neck). Full: WR Donald Driver (neck); QB Aaron Rodgers (calf).
Nelson will not practice on Friday, coach Mike McCarthy said.
“This is really the first time Jordy has dealt with a hamstring,” McCarthy said. “He will probably test him either Saturday or Sunday.”
Raji practiced for the first time since turning an ankle at Indianapolis. He has missed the last two games but appears ready to go — depending on he feels on Friday.
“I thought he looked good,” McCarthy said. “He was jumping around there, looked like his old self. The biggest thing with B.J. is to see how he is in the morning. I thought that was a positive to have him out there today.”
Jaguars injury report
Did not participate: RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot); S Dwight Lowery (ankle); RB Montell Owens (shoulder); LB Daryl Smith (groin). Limited: CB Derek Cox (back); FB Greg Jones (hip); CB Rashean Mathis (groin); WR Laurent Robinson (concussion). Full: QB Blaine Gabbert (left shoulder); C Brad Meester (not injury related).