Packers receiver Jordy Nelson has at least two broken ribs, arising from a helmet to the midsection from Giants defensive back Leon Hall. Hall inexplicably wasn’t flagged. He undoubtedly will be fined.
While that won’t help the Packers on Sunday, when they’ll most likely be forced to proceed without Nelson, a fine would constitute an acknowledgment that referee Ed Hochuli’s mismatched wild-card crew missed a clear foul.
It’s widely known that helmet-to-helmet hits and blows to the head and neck of defenseless receivers violate the rules. But defenseless receivers also can’t be struck in the strike zone with the helmet of the defensive player. Hall did that, breaking Nelson’s ribs, knocking him out of the game, and ultimately not helping the Giants win.
Strangely, the Packers offense woke up after Nelson left, scoring 38 points without him on the field. That’s a testament to the higher level of performance that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has discovered. He’ll need to keep that up against the Cowboys, especially if Nelson doesn’t play — and if the Cowboys manage to score more than six points if the Green Bay offense sputters for multiple drives.