Packers might need a No. 3 receiver for opener

August, 25, 2008
8/25/08
5:37
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

We've spent plenty of time discussing the impact of injuries on the Green Bay Packers' offensive line, but the team's receiving corps has also limped through a painful preseason. Starter Greg Jennings missed the first two preseason games because of knee injury, and now No. 3 receiver James Jones is considered "week-to-week" because of a sprained knee suffered Friday night in Denver.

Jennings, Jones and Donald Driver make up one of the better receiving trios in the NFL. It's not out of the question that Jones could be ready in time for the Sept. 8 season opener against Minnesota. But if he misses that game, the Packers will need a significant step-up from one of two reserves: Ruvell Martin or Jordy Nelson.

Martin was pretty impressive during the 11 days we spent in Green Bay during training camp. At 6-foot-4, he is the Packers' biggest receiver and an excellent target in the red zone.

Nelson, meanwhile, is the Packers' top draft choice and has been working extensively as a punt returner during the preseason. He isn't quite as big as Martin but is a solid 6-3 and certainly wouldn't embarrass the Packers if they needed to play him in the open week.

All things considered, it's a good bet Martin would replace Jones as the No. 3 receiver if needed against the Vikings. But Packers coach Mike McCarthy has been known to use four-receiver sets, so it's fair to assume Nelson would get on the field in some capacity in that situation as well.

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