It should come as no surprise to anyone who saw the play during Monday night’s Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings game that Will Blackmon is out for the year.
Blackmon tore his ACL on a second-quarter kickoff return and will be placed on injured reserve. Jordy Nelson will fill in for Blackmon on kick returns, but the Packers haven’t decided who will take Blackmon’s place as the punt returner. Nelson will be an option there, as will cornerback Tramon Williams.
“I like the way he returned kickoffs,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think Jordy does a really good job of just getting north and south. There is not a lot of wasted movement. He does a good job hitting the landmarks. That return that he had out there to the 44-yard line would have been big for us. We had the penalty called. But I think he has done a nice job with the opportunities that he has had.
Nelson has the speed and instincts to be a suitable replacement for Blackmon as a kick returner. The punt return slot is bit more of a question mark, although Williams did return a punt for a touchdown during the 2007 season.
Blackmon’s loss is not debilitating, especially since he wasn’t getting much playing time in the secondary, the Packers will miss his playmaking ability, particularly on punt returns.