J.J. Nelson

Indianapolis Colts
Wide Receiver #14
Indianapolis Colts
Wide Receiver #14

J.J. Nelson News

Works out for Buffalo

Nelson (groin) took part in a tryout with the Bills on Saturday, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports.

Analysis: Nelson's ability to complete a workout for the Bills implies that he's made a full recovery from the groin issue that resulted in him opening the season on the Colts' injured reserve list before he was waived Nov. 1 on an injury settlement. He could be a candidate to join the Bills' or another team's practice squad now that he's healthy.

Nov 27, 2022 7:12 AM EST

Parts ways with Indy

Nelson (groin) was waived off injured reserve by the Colts on Monday, Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston reports.

Analysis: Nelson was with Indianapolis in training camp and landed on injured reserve in early August, but he's now been let go. The 29-year-old will be free to sign elsewhere as long as he can pass a physical examination.

Nov 1, 2021 3:24 PM EST

Shifts to IR

The Colts placed Nelson (groin) on injured reserve Friday.

Analysis: Nelson was a rotational contributor for the Cardinals from 2015-18, but in 2019 he only logged two games with the Raiders, and in 2020 he failed to make San Francisco's roster. Now on IR due to a groin injury picked up early during training camp, the veteran speedster's chances of reestablishing a role in the NFL are looking increasingly slim.

Aug 6, 2021 8:28 AM EST

Signs with Indy

Nelson has signed a reserve/future contract with the Colts.

Analysis: A 2015 fifth-round pick, Nelson spent his first four seasons with the Cardinals, catching 81 passes for 1,439 yards and 10 touchdowns in 56 regular-season games. He made just two appearances for the Raiders in 2019 and was then released by the 49ers in September 2020, so it won't be easy for the veteran speedster to re-establish himself in the NFL. Nelson ran a 4.28-second 40-yard dash back in 2015, but he's probably lost a step or two as he approaches his 29th birthday in April.

Feb 1, 2021 12:36 PM EST

Quick exit from practice squad

Nelson, who was signed to Buffalo's practice squad Friday, was let go Monday, Dante Lasting of the Bills' official site reports.

Analysis: The Bills finally recruited Kenny Stills to serve as depth for the playoffs, so with that move and the addition of Josh Allen's former Wyoming teammate Tanner Gentry, there was no room left at the inn for Nelson.

Jan 4, 2021 9:20 AM EST

Heading to Buffalo

Nelson (knee) signed with the Bills' practice squad Friday.

Analysis: The 28-year-old was let go by the 49ers with an injury settlement after training camp, and he'll now receive an opportunity with the Bills. Nelson could provide depth at wide receiver with Cole Beasley (knee) potentially unavailable this weekend.

Jan 1, 2021 7:26 AM EST

Receives injury settlement

The 49ers cut Nelson (knee) with an injury settlement Sunday, Kyle Madson of USA Today reports.

Analysis: Nelson linked up with the 49ers mid-August, but he quickly suffered a knee injury which carried a recovery timetable between two weeks and a month. The team placed him on IR, but how having received an injury settlement, the speedy wideout will be free to sign with another organization as soon as he's fully healthy.

Sep 6, 2020 8:35 PM EST

Shifts to IR

Nelson (knee) was placed on injured reserve Sunday, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Analysis: Nelson was expected to miss somewhere between two weeks and a month, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, this could mark the end of Nelson's short stint with San Francisco, as the team will likely cut him with an injury settlement once he's healthy. The 28-year-old wide receiver wasn't expected to have a major role on offense, but he was expected to be a returner.

Aug 30, 2020 11:57 AM EST

Will miss 2-4 weeks

Nelson is slated to miss two weeks to a month due to a knee injury, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Though Nelson wasn't necessarily ticketed for a big role in the 49ers offense, his absence further taxes the depth of the team's banged-up wideout corps. Once he's back, the speedster will look top carve out a depth pass-catcher/return role with San Francisco.

Aug 28, 2020 10:54 AM EST

Officially links up with Niners

Nelson signed a contract with the 49ers on Saturday, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: Nelson, who has compiled 100 total yards over the past two seasons with the Cardinals and Raiders, was once regarded as one of the fastest players in the NFL, and makes for an intriguing specialist in the Niners passing game given the team's reliance on motioning wide receivers to set up different plays. Deebo Samuel, who is expected to miss all of training camp as he recovers from offseason foot surgery, posted 159 rushing yards across 14 carries last season in a similar role, although Nelson could also earn a spot on the 53-man roster as a return specialist after Travis Benjamin opted out of the 2020 campaign.

Aug 15, 2020 11:14 AM EST

In line to join 49ers

The 49ers plan to sign Nelson, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: The 49ers also plan to sign Tavon Austin, as the team looks to add wideout depth given that both Deebo Samuel (foot) and Richie James (wrist) are dealing with injury issues. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Nelson hasn't put up much production over the past two seasons, but during his first few years in the league with the Cardinals (2015-2017), the speedster demonstrated a degree of bog-play upside.

Aug 14, 2020 10:09 AM EST

Cut by Oakland

The Raiders released Nelson (knee) on Thursday.

Analysis: Oakland was counting on the speedy Nelson to provide the team with a field-stretching threat opposite Tyrell Williams, but that never really came to fruition while the former missed four of the team's first five contests due to injury. With the Raiders recently bringing in Zay Jones via trade to bolster the receiving corps, there apparently wasn't any room left for the banged-up Nelson. Once he shakes off the injury, Nelson could end up re-signing with Oakland or land elsewhere as a depth option.

Oct 10, 2019 3:11 PM EST

Not playing Week 5

Nelson is inactive for Sunday's game against the Bears in London.

Analysis: Nelson was downgraded to non-participant in Friday's practice, which turned out to be a harbinger of his inactive status. With Nelson's fellow wideouts Tyrone Williams (foot) and Dwayne Harris (ankle) also on the shelf Sunday, the Raiders are down to a top receiver trio of rookie Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Doss and Trevor Davis against a ferocious Bears defense. Tight end Darren Waller may be in line for a bump in his already massive workload as a result, but quarterback Derek Carr's prospects, already shaky to start with versus Chicago, become downright grim in the wake of the multiple absences.

Oct 6, 2019 8:46 AM EST

Questionable Week 5

Nelson (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game versus the Bears in London.

Analysis: Nelson worked as a limited participant the first two days of the week, so it's not a great sign that he was downgraded to a non-participant Friday. Tyrell Williams (foot) and Dwayne Harris (ankle) are also questionable, potentially pushing Hunter Renfrow and Trevor Davis into expanded roles Sunday.

Oct 4, 2019 7:03 AM EST

Reps capped for second straight day

Nelson (knee) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice.

Analysis: Nelson was a last-minute inactive ahead of the Week 4 win over the Colts in what was attributed to a bout of leg tightness, but it's a knee issue more specifically that has limited his reps in practice the past two days. While Nelson's ability to practice in any capacity can be taken as a positive sign, he'll probably need to upgrade to full participation Friday to have any shot at avoiding an injury designation heading into Sunday's game against the Bears.

Oct 3, 2019 8:32 AM EST

Limited in Wednesday's practice

Nelson (knee) participated in a limited fashion during Wednesday's practice.

Analysis: Nelson was slated to play in Week 4 versus the Colts but felt leg tightness in pregame warmups and was deemed inactive. The Raiders will likely take precaution with Nelson this week, and it's a good sign he's still participating in some capacity Wednesday. Nelson could have a major role on offense in Sunday's game versus the Chiefs if he can shake this injury since Tyrell Williams (foot) sat out Wednesday's practice.

Oct 2, 2019 12:49 PM EST

Experiences leg tightness in warmups

Nelson experienced some tightness in his leg during pre-game warmups and as a result was made inactive for Sunday's game against the Colts, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: This news clarifies that Nelson -- who wasn't on the Raiders' Week 4 injury report -- was not a healthy scratch. In his absence, Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Doss and Trevor Davis profile as the Raiders' healthy wide receivers Sunday behind No. 1 option Tyrell Williams

Sep 29, 2019 9:30 AM EST

Healthy scratch Week 4

Nelson (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's Week 4 tilt against the Colts.

Analysis: This comes as somewhat of a surprise after Nelson found the end zone and logged four catches overall in a Week 3 loss to the Vikings. The veteran wideout's inactive status comes with fellow receiver Dwayne Harris (ankle) also sidelined, leaving Hunter Renfrow, Trevor Davis and Keelan Doss as the wideout options behind No. 1 option Tyrell Williams. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic Nelson is apparently still struggling somewhat with the ankle injury that cost him participation in a Week 2 matchup against the Chiefs.

Sep 29, 2019 8:37 AM EST

Gets into end zone Sunday

Nelson caught four of five targets for an output of 36 receiving yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 34-14 loss to the Vikings.

Analysis: The 27-year-old wideout was unable to go against the Chiefs in Week 2 due to an ankle injury, but got back on the field in Week 3 after upgrading from limited to full practice participation between Wednesday and Thursday. Nelson fielded six offensive snaps and was not targeted in the season opener against the Broncos, but he ranked second on the team in targets Sunday behind only Darren Waller (14). Nelson is a bona fide downfield threat with a career yards per catch average of 17.8, and he'll have opportunities for big plays in Week 4 taking on a Colts defense that allowed Atlanta to complete eight passes of 15-plus yards Sunday.

Sep 22, 2019 4:13 PM EST

Practices fully Thursday

Nelson (ankle) was a full participant in Thursday's practice, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Nelson was limited in practice Wednesday, so his full participation Thursday is great news for his status for Sunday's contest against Minnesota. The 27-year-old missed Oakland's Week 2 matchup with the Chiefs with the ankle issue, but now it seems he'll be able to return to his depth role in the Raiders' receiving corps.

Sep 19, 2019 2:37 PM EST

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