If ever a team seemed prepared to handle a devastating injury at a critical position, it was the 2015 Green Bay Packers.

Certainly, everyone in the organization cringed when Pro Bowl wide receiver Jordy Nelson tore his right ACL in August. But there also had to be some comfort knowing just how heavily general manager Ted Thompson invested in the wideout position.

Randall Cobb was a 2011 second-round draft pick now making $10 million per season. Davante Adams was a second-round selection in 2014, a year the Packers also took Jared Abbrederis in Round 5 and Jeff Janis in the seventh round.

Ty Montgomery was a third-round draft pick in 2015, and Green Bay welcomed back James Jones — a third-round pick in 2007. Even tight end Richard Rodgers was a third-round draft pick in 2014.

If anyone could handle a loss like Nelson, it was these Packers, right? Hardly.

Green Bay's passing offense crashed and burned in 2015, and inconsistent play from the wideouts was a huge reason why.

"Sometimes we did what we were supposed to do, sometimes we didn't," said Jones, who was Green Bay's leading receiver. "It's part of the game, it's part of football."

The Packers plummeted to 25th in passing offense (218.9), their worst finish since the strike shortened 1987 season. During Mike McCarthy's first nine years, Green Bay's average ranking in passing offense was sixth. And the last time the Packers were outside the top-10 in passing offense was 2003, when they were 16th.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had his poorest year (92.7 passer rating) since becoming the starter in 2008. That, combined with the disappointing play of Green Bay's wideout group, led to a stunning fall from grace.

With the passing offense in disarray most of the year, Green Bay finished with just 368 total points — down nearly 200 from the magnificent 2011 season (560) and the Packers fewest since McCarthy's rookie year of 2006 (301).

"The obvious, we did not get it done on offense," McCarthy said.

The fall of some wideouts — and the rise of others — should make for a fascinating training camp come July.

Adams, who was given every chance to shine in Nelson's absence, flopped miserably. Cobb proved he wasn't a true No. 1, despite what his pay stubs might say every week.

Janis and Abbrederis came on late and could be primed for much bigger roles in 2016. Montgomery flashed before an ankle injury ruined his first season. Jones will become a free agent in March, and even though he was Green Bay's most consistent wideout, the Packers figure to go with younger players.

"You know, when you put it all together and you see that group battling, tremendous competition," Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said of what he expects next season. "That's what you want. You have competition like that, it raises the level in that room, and that's a big, important part of it.

"When you have guys competing on a daily basis, pushing each other to be the best they can possibly be, that helps the team overall, and I think it could potentially be that type of situation next year with all of those guys battling for play time."

As the Packers found out this season, the key will be a return to form for Nelson.

Nelson began running recently and hopes to be a full participant when training camp arrives. Nelson, who turns 31 in May, may never again be the player who finished the 2014 season with 98 catches, 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. But if he's even close to that it will be a huge lift for Green Bay's passing attack.

"I think Jordy will come back better than ever," McCarthy said. "Just like you knew he would, he's so far ahead with the rehab, he looks great. There's no reason to think he won't be good as new."

No one would love that more than Cobb, who saw extra attention all season and couldn't beat concentrated coverages. Cobb posted a team-leading 79 catches, but his average of 10.5 yards per reception was a career-low.

One reason Cobb saw so much attention from the slot was Adams failed miserably in his effort to step in for Nelson.

Pro Football Focus ranked the 119 receivers to play at least 25% of their team's snaps this season. Adams finished 118th.