The Packers don’t know yet whether Randall Cobb is going to be 100 percent (though they’re optimistic).
What they’re certain of is that when he is well, he will be returning punts and kicks.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that Cobb’s ankle injury yesterday wasn’t going to scare him out of using the guy who has become their biggest offensive threat in the kicking game as well.
“Randall Cobb is a big part of our success on special teams. Our special teams has been our most consistent unit of our football team from Week 1 to Week 15. You don’t establish the way you play, the vision of the way you play, and then all of a sudden change going into the last week of the season,” McCarthy said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “We’ll see what happens here with Randall and we’ll evaluate his injury and then we’ll make decisions as we go forward. The philosophy of him playing on special teams has not changed.”
The Packers have never hesitated using star players on special teams, and McCarthy said the suggestion that Cobb was too important to risk there wasn’t anything he believed in.
“I’ll be honest with you: I don’t have a really high tolerance for this because I don’t understand how you play scared in the game of football. I don’t get that,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s convenient questioning. I understand the risk involved in every single play. Some plays are higher risk than others, and I’m fully aware of that.
“But you can’t sit here and say special teams is important if you don’t put a guy like Randall Cobb out there as a returner. Now, if we’re sitting here next year, we might be having a different conversation. But the way our team is built for 2012, Randall Cobb is a huge part of our success on special teams.”
With Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings missing time this year with injuries, Cobb has stepped up to lead the team in receptions (80) and receiving yards (954) while returning punts and kicks as well.
McCarthy said the team’s “medical staff does not have high concern,” about Cobb’s availability this week, and because they count on him for so much, that means he must be pretty close to being well.