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Teammates say Jordy Nelson is underestimated because he’s white

Saints Packers Football

Green Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson celebrates with fans after catching a touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Packers receiver Jordy Nelson is averaging 18.6 yards a catch this season, tied with Carolina’s Steve Smith for the best average in the NFL among receivers with at least 20 catches.

So why don’t more people name this big-play threat for the best team in football when they’re listing the top receivers in the NFL? Some of Nelson’s teammates say it’s because of the color of his skin.

“They underestimate him. And honestly, he uses that to his advantage,” Packers receiver Greg Jennings told the Associated Press. “Seriously, a lot of it has to do with the fact that guys look at him and say, ‘OK, he’s the white guy, he can’t be that good.’ Well, he is that good, he’s proven to be that good and it’s because of the work and the time that he’s put in -- not only on the field but in his preparation off the field.”

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on WAUK-AM that he and cornerback Charles Woodson discussed the same topic during Monday night’s game.

“I was talking to ‘Wood’ in the fourth quarter and he said, ‘When you see Jordy out there, you think, “Oh well, he’s a white wide receiver. He won’t be very athletic.” But Jordy sort of breaks all those stereotypes,’” Rodgers said. “I am not sure why he keeps sneaking up on guys.”

With 633 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on the undefeated Packers, Nelson shouldn’t be able to sneak up on anyone for much longer.