Do the Packers Have Room for a Healthy Greg Jennings in Deep WR Core?

Daine PavloskiAnalyst IIOctober 24, 2012

After a slow start to the 2012 campaign, Jennings is now dealing with a nagging groin injury
After a slow start to the 2012 campaign, Jennings is now dealing with a nagging groin injuryJeff Gross/Getty Images

Greg Jennings went down with an injury early this season and hasn't been able to shake it. Jennings has participated in just three games for the Packers, hauling in 12 passes for 78 yards. He has found the end zone only once. 

Things looked quite different for Jennings last year. Last season, Jennings was a huge part of the Green Bay offense, leading the team with 101 total targets and snagging nine touchdowns to help the Packers capture a 15-1 regular season record. 

With Jennings out of action, the rest of the Packers' talented receiving core was called upon to step up. It's safe to say they've answered. 

Jordy Nelson got over his slow start and now has over 500 yards and five touchdowns. Randall Cobb has become a huge part of the offense with over 400 yards receiving and three touchdowns. James Jones has improved greatly since last season and has over 300 yards receiving. Jones now leads the team with seven touchdowns—already matching his total from last season. 

With the Packers receivers playing so well, will there be room for Jennings when he's healthy?

Of course.

And that return may be sooner than we thought. According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jennings has a chance to return this week if he can pass a running test on Thursday and make it through practice on Friday with no issues. 

This is great news for Packer fans, but where will Jennings fit in? Nelson, Cobb and Jones have played very well in his absence, helping the Packers earn the 10th-rated passing game in the NFL

If Jennings did return in the next few weeks, would it even be worth it? A less-than-100-percent Jennings most likely wouldn't be able to produce like the rest of the receivers could. 

So, at this moment, is there room for Jennings? No.

Jennings needs to focus more on coming back as healthy as possible instead of coming back too soon. The Packers receivers can handle it without their leader for the time being. 

Once healthy, Jennings can come back and take his No. 1 receiver spot back. When Jennings returns, defenses will have to worry about him as well as the other receivers for the Pack. Jennings has great chemistry with Aaron Rodgers and fits perfectly with the Packers as a possession receiver in the No. 1 spot. 

When he's healthy, there is no reason that he can't fit back into the offense. Cobb and Nelson can go back to worrying about the deep game while Jennings takes over the intermediate routes and his spot as a red-zone receiver. 

When Jennings is eventually back to 100 percent, there will definitely be room for him on the depth chart. However, until then, he needs to focus on getting healthy while his teammates cover him for a few weeks.