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LaFleur: Packers WR Randall Cobb is “going to be out for a while”

“He had a pretty significant injury.”

Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

One of the surprises of the Green Bay Packers’ Wednesday practice this week was the fact that wide receiver Randall Cobb was a non-participant due to a listed core injury. This comes off the heels of Cobb missing the second half of the Packers’ last game, against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 12, with a groin injury.

In the pre-practice press conference on Thursday, Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur was asked about Cobb and if the team would potentially replace Cobb’s snaps in the slot with third-round rookie Amari Rodgers:

“Yeah, Cobbie’s going to be out for a while. He had a pretty significant injury. That’s unfortunate, ‘cause I thought he’s done such an amazing job when given the opportunity. We were talking about just his targets on third down alone, he was eight of ten when he got targeted of converting first downs. And that’s just in the normal field.

It’s gonna be...it’s really everybody and that can change on a weekly basis. We’ll use Allen [Lazard] in there a little bit. We’ll use...EQ’s (Equanimeous St. Brown) been playing really well as of late. Not only on offense but also on special teams, as well, and then we’ll continue to move Davante [Adams] around and put him in there a little bit. But as far as Amari’s concerned, I think Amari’s still a young player and he’s still growing and he’s going to get better. We got a lot of high expectations for him to continue to grow and develop and, you know, I do think he’ll get more opportunity.”

It doesn’t sound like Cobb will be ready to play against the Chicago Bears this week, which hurts the Packers' passing game. Below is a table of the production the Packers are getting from the wide receiver position this season, with Adjusted Yards per Snap essentially being a yards per snap metric that treats touchdowns as a bonus 20-yard gain, along the same vein as AY/A and ANY/A:

2021 Packers Receivers

Player Snaps Yards Touchdowns Adjusted Yards per Snap
Player Snaps Yards Touchdowns Adjusted Yards per Snap
Davante Adams 632 1083 5 1.9
Allen Lazard 486 223 3 0.6
Randall Cobb 371 375 5 1.3
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 307 309 2 1.1
Equanimeous St. Brown 170 62 0 0.4
Juwann Winfree 62 30 0 0.5
Amari Rodgers 62 40 0 0.6
Malik Taylor 30 14 0 0.5

On paper, the only Packers receiver to generate more on a per-snap basis than Cobb this year has been All-Pro pass-catcher Davante Adams, with Marquez Valdes-Scantling being the only other wideout close to Cobb’s production on the whole roster. It’s also worth noting that Juwann Winfree is on the practice squad, though he was protected on Tuesday, and that Malik Taylor is still battling through an abdomen injury himself.

It might not matter against the Bears, as the Packers are bigger favorites against Chicago this week than they have been against any other team this season, but depending on how long “a while” is, Cobb’s injury could significantly impact Green Bay’s passing production. The good news is that the Packers haven’t placed Cobb on the injured reserve list, which hopefully signifies that he will return to the field in fewer than three weeks.