GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants Randall Cobb off special teams. And soon.
Cobb, Green Bay’s leading receiver this season, was injured midway through the third quarter after fielding a punt during the Packers’ 55-7 rout of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon.
After Cobb injured his right ankle, Green Bay’s training staff assisted him halfway across the field before he limped the rest of the way on his own.
Cobb, who had three catches for 62 yards with one receiving touchdown at that point in the game, went to the locker room and did not return.
“I hope we can get him off special teams soon,” Rodgers said after the game.
There wasn’t much information available on Cobb’s injury, but the versatile second-year player has become one that the team can’t afford to lose heading into the playoffs.
“I hope it’s not serious,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “The training staff on the field did not give me anything to believe that it was very serious. But, as you know with ankle sprains and joint injuries, the next day is a huge indicator.”
The challenge for McCarthy is that Cobb has been valuable in the return game, as well as in the weekly offensive game plans. In addition to Cobb’s 954 receiving yards this season, he also has 132 rushing yards, 964 kick return yards and 292 punt-return yards.
In the first quarter, Cobb became the Packers’ all-time leader in single-season net yards, passing former running back Ahman Green’s mark of 2,250 yards from 2003.
“He’s a big-time player,” Rodgers said. “He’s fun to watch. Just trying to get him the ball in space. He makes some big plays. He’s got incredible preparation habits. He’s always ready to play, knows where he’s supposed to be. He’s like a seven- or eight-year veteran out there, it feels like at times. I feel like we’ve played together for a while. He understands the concepts we’re running, where to get open. He’s a big-time player.”
With the uncertainty of Cobb’s injury, Rodgers may not have his No. 1 target available when Green Bay travels to Minnesota next weekend for a regular-season finale that has significant postseason implications for both teams.
When Cobb is back on the field and healthy, McCarthy said the team could “potentially” change its special-teams plans.
“We’ll see, we’ll see,” McCarthy added when asked if Cobb would remain the team’s kick and punt returner.
If McCarthy does make a change, it would be to send first-year player Jeremy Ross out for punt returns. With Cobb being examined in the locker room, Ross ran back a fourth-quarter punt 58 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the 7-yard line. Ross has the resume for the job, finishing his college career ranked second all-time on the University of California’s punt-return list.