Can Packers WR Jordy Nelson play Sunday? Not impossible

Rib doctor: "The pain can be relieved"
Posted at 3:30 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 10:48:31-05


JUST IN: Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has declared Jordy Nelson out for the game Sunday.

McCarthy said the Packers will reevaluate him Monday.  

McCarthy added that Nelson is through a workout now and he's feeling better every day.


He spent Sunday night in a hospital after suffering a rib injury, but the Packers are still holding out hope that Jordy Nelson can find a way to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff.

How can that be possible, considering reports that he has at least two broken ribs?

Dr. William Tisol of the Aurora Medical Center is an expert in chest surgery, including the rib cage. No, he hasn't seen Jordy, but he describes to WTMJ's John Mercure the ways a pro football player can have the right treatment to find a way to play such a collision sport with his injuries.

"The rib fracture treatment is all about pain relief. The pain can be relieved in a number of ways," said Dr. Tisol.

That pain relief, he explains, is the key, because the most basic of human functions - breathing - can be painful with rib injuries.

"When I deal with patients in my clinic who have had rib fractures, even the smallest movement can be very uncomfortable," he shared, offering examples of what his patients say.
" 'If I sneeze, cough or laugh, all of a sudden, I get this sharp shooting pain.' "
Now, add the brutal nature of football. How can an athlete perform with the realities of a broken rib?
"Sometimes, you can use oral pain medications...injections, using numbing medicine," he said.
"Sometimes the fractures are severe enough where you can put a plate and screws on the fractures which can reduce the movement."

Listen to the full discussion with John Mercure in your Soundcloud player above.