UPDATE: Reggie Wayne reportedly has signed a one-year deal with the Patriots. Scroll down to the bottom of the article for details.
The Green Bay Packers' preseason game in Pittsburgh on Sunday was an injury-marred affair, and no injury hurts the team worse than the early diagnosis of wide receiver Jordy Nelson's knee.
Nelson was initially diagnosed with a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI scan in short order to determine whether or not this is indeed the case. If so, Nelson will miss the entire 2015 season, and will likely go in Injured Reserve when the team is forced to cut the roster down from 90 players to 75 on September 1.
In this morning's Cheese Curds, we brought you various links that suggested that the Packers would stay internal to replace Nelson's production, rather than contacting other free agent wideouts. However, a new report out this morning suggests the opposite:
Packers are waiting on Jordy Nelson's MRI, pending the result, I'm told Green Bay will be calling the 36 year old receiver who is in NE— Dianna Marie Russini (@diannaESPN) August 24, 2015
That receiver being Reggie Wayne. #Packers.— Dianna Marie Russini (@diannaESPN) August 24, 2015
Wayne, the long-time Indianapolis Colt, is coming off his 14th NFL season, but has seen a precipitous drop in production over the past two years. As recently as 2012, he was a Pro Bowler and caught 106 balls for over 1,300 yards. However, a knee injury in 2013 kept him out for half the season and though he played 15 games a year ago, he caught just 55% of the passes thrown his way (64 catches on 116 targets) for a career-low 12.2 yards per catch average.
That's not to suggest that Wayne could not be a productive tertiary option in the Packers' passing game, however. With Randall Cobb and Davante Adams likely to shoulder much of the load, perhaps a reliable veteran option would make sense on the outside.
Of course, a phone call is just that, and until we hear a report of any more serious interest, we'll still file the possibility of the Packers signing Wayne away in the "unlikely to happen" category. Still, it's a sign that Ted Thompson might indeed be open to considering other options to help fill in for Nelson this year that go against his traditional modus operandi.
Another option, of course, could be wide receiver James Jones, the Thompson draft pick and long-time former Packer who is currently in training camp with the New York Giants. Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin discussed Jones on Sunday night as well - if he does not stick past the cut-down to 53 men after the preseason, Jones could be an ideal fit, as he knows the Packers' offense and quarterback better than any other player currently on the market.
UPDATE: So much for that idea. Adam Schefter is here to put the kibosh on any Packers-Wayne connections:
Reggie Wayne and New England Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, league source told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 24, 2015