MILWAUKEE -- Could Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson take the field this Sunday, January 15th during the Divisional Playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys? With the receiver suffering what is reported as multiple rib fractures, there are reports he may be thinking about trying to play while wearing a Kevlar vest.
Nelson left in the second quarter of the 38-13 win over the New York Giants in a wild-card game Sunday, January 8th. He took a shot to the left side of his body from safety Leon Hall's helmet while jumping for a pass that went incomplete.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Nelson spent Sunday night in the hospital. He was back at Lambeau Field on Monday.
Coach McCarthy said if Nelson is able to practice on Saturday, he might be able to play in the game on Sunday after suffering a rib injury.
"The ribs as part of the chest will actually lift open and pull the lungs open, pulling air in through the mouth or the nose," said Dr. Patrick Jost, orthopedic surgeon/sports medicine specialist.
On Thursday, January 12th, Dr. Jost learned Nelson is considering wearing a Kevlar vest to potentially play against the Cowboys on Sunday.
"The idea of wearing a protective vest will help with impact. It doesn't prevent recurrent injury," said Dr. Jost.
It also does not necessarily prevent new and significantly worse injuries caused by the fractures.
"You can lacerate your spleen or your kidneys or your liver. So every, 'next hit,' he could certainly be at risk for one of those things," said Dr. Jost.
The doctor explained it is possible to play through the intense pain.
"The hardest thing is taking a deep breath -- especially in a player that has to sprint. They have to take deep breaths repeatedly over and over again -- so it'll affect not only his pain level but his speed and his ability to get away from cornerbacks," said Dr. Jost.
The Packers and Cowboys kick off at 3:40 p.m. Sunday.