At this time last year, much of the Green Bay Packers' attention not focused on the draft centered on the recovery of Jordy Nelson. The former second-team All-Pro remained locked in rehab mode related to the ACL tear he suffered during the previous preseason.
Fast forward to 2017, and the injury seems lost in the distant past. Nelson didn't look quite as dominant last season as he had before the injury, but he re-established himself as a highly productive pass catcher. For his efforts, Nelson won Comeback Player of the Year honors.
While Nelson certainly deserves much of the credit for his big season, the receiver made sure to share credit with members of the Packers' training staff.
Even divorced of the injury context, Jordy Nelsons' 97-catch, 1,257-yard, 14-touchdown season reflects incredibly well on all involved given the wideout's age (31). Add in that Nelson did not appear in the preseason and practiced only in a limited capacity before Week 1, and it becomes clear why Green Bay athletic trainers Nate Weir and Bryan "Flea" Engel garnered such glowing praise.
Speaking of Nelson, he remains active in the state of Wisconsin. The Pro Bowl wideout visited the Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team after their 71-60 win over No. 23 Maryland on Sunday, a game also attended by former Badgers football standout James White.
While big decisions over free agents T.J. Lang and Nick Perry loom large over the Packers' offseason, the team has relatively little on which to mull regarding exclusive-rights and restricted free agents like Geronimo Allison, Jacob Schum, and Joe Thomas. Green Bay can retain each (as well as a handful of others) for relatively minimal cost and expect decent returns. Slightly more difficult calls could come with linebacker and special-teams regular Jayrone Elliott and running backs like former FCS standout John Crockett.
Packers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Davis didn't carve out a reputation as a political activist during his playing career, but he did end up at the famous "Ali Summit" in 1967, considered one of the transformational moments in North American sports history. The Press Gazette's Pete Dougherty gives a fantastic account of how it came together.