Greg Jennings: Fantasy Owners Should Be Cautious Despite Expected Return

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 6:  Wide Receiver Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers catches a touchdown pass in front of Quentin Jammer #23 of the San Diego Chargers on November 6, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

After missing most of the season with a core muscle injury, Greg Jennings is finally ready to return to the field. However, that does not mean he should be in your fantasy football starting lineup.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported via Twitter that the receiver of the Green Bay Packers is likely to return to the field on Sunday:


Packers HC Mike McCarthy said he believes WR Greg Jennings will be ready to play Sunday vs. Minnesota.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 26, 2012


This is good news for Jennings, who has only appeared in three games this season and has been out since September.

Unfortunately, even he expects the coaching staff to limit him upon his return.

When asked about his role on Sunday, Jennings told Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

I don’t know. We’ll see. Obviously they're probably going to err on the side of gradually implementing me in there. If I had a say, I would just say just let me go. I’m good. there’s no need for that. But I can’t control that part of it. 

The key point is that it is not his decision. Mike McCarthy makes the call as to who is on the field, and it does not make any sense for him to play the star receiver an excessive amount.

First of all, the possibility of re-injuring himself is enough to proceed with caution. Jennings initially injured himself in Week 1, but it was the game in Week 4 that took him out for the past several weeks. 

Green Bay does not want to see this happen again.

Even if Jennings feels good in practice, it is a completely different story once the game begins and people start hitting. It is best to ease back onto the field after missing two months of games.

With the Packers trying to contend for a Super Bowl, it is better so save him for the more important games down the line.

In addition, Green Bay has proven this season that Jennings is not vital to the team's success.

Not only did the team lose both of the games in which the seven-year veteran played a prominent role, but James Jones and Randall Cobb have thrived with increased playing time. The two have combined for 1,108 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns so far this year.

This does not even include the always solid Jordy Nelson, plus tight end Jermichael Finley, who is finally starting to become a bigger part of the offense in the last couple of weeks.

The Packers know that they can win without Jennings, so there is no reason to push him in his first game back.

It also means that his role when he is full strength is still undetermined. Jones and Cobb are not simply going to disappear for the rest of the season.

As a fantasy owner, it is encouraging that he is ready to get back onto the field.

Unfortunately, it is unknown if he will even make any sort of impact in the game against the Minnesota Vikings, who, by the way, allow the 11th-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. 

If you have Jennings on your team, you should keep him on your bench until he proves he has a major role on this team. Otherwise, it is simply too big of a risk in the final weeks of the fantasy football regular season.


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