Jordy Nelson called it a career this past offseason after one year away from Green Bay with the Oakland Raiders. On Tuesday, he returned to Lambeau Field to retire as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
“I mean when you’re part of this organization and the history. Mark [Murphy] reached out to me a couple days to a week after I decided to be done playing, and asked if I wanted to do it. When you get that request, I was very appreciative of that. Obviously the fans as well. I didn’t know it was such a big deal until I talked to some people,” said Jordy Nelson.
The former second round pick turned Pro Bowler, Nelson spent the bulk of his ten year NFL career with the Packers. Four of those seasons Nelson finished with over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“I’ll be remembered as a Packer. Obviously, I enjoyed my year in Oakland. This is where it started, and it’s great to come back and end it that way,” said Nelson.
Nelson missed the entire 2015 season after tearing his ACL in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He returned in 2016 and went on to claim the Comeback Player of the Year honor after racking up 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns that season.
Nelson scored plenty of touchdowns in his career. Perhaps none bigger than one of his best memories in green and gold, scoring in Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV win over Pittsburgh.
“I think you obviously start with the Super Bowl. To be able to be there, and have that opportunity, score a touchdown there and have that ball. My son turned one the week of the Super Bowl, and then I still remember being down there on the field with him and my wife,” said Nelson.
He scored a lot of touchdowns for the Packers over those ten seasons. That impact on the field is easy to see. It’s what he did off the field that may have a longer shelf life than anything, though.
“Really it was his leadership. Just his presence in this locker room. For many of the younger guys, and even the older guys, he was the epitome of going out there and showing the young guys and everybody how it’s done. Lead by example, and I think it helped me grow into a better leader as well,” said wide receiver Davante Adams.
On Tuesday, Nelson made his way on to the practice field at Ray Nitschke Field for practice. At the end he ran into an old friend. None other than quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“Yeah, I saw him out there. He looks like he could still play,” said Rodgers.
“Nobody, I think, personified class, what it means to be a Packers that I played with than that guy. He was incredible in the community and obviously a fantastic player. Had that Barry Sanders to him. You know, he’d score and give the ball to the official. A lot of great memories together. Obviously, a lot of corner posts over the years.”