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Finley, Cobb New Additions to Injury Report

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Finley, Cobb New Additions to Injury Report

As the Packers enter their final week of practice in the regular season with home-field advantage in the playoffs all wrapped up, there were several absences from practice on Wednesday, notably tight end Jermichael Finley and wide receiver Randall Cobb.

Cobb and Finley were surprise additions to the injury report given that the team had not disclosed any new injuries in the immediate aftermath of the most recent game, a win on Christmas Day over the Chicago Bears. Their injuries were announced as a groin for Cobb and a knee for Finley.

"He's sore," head coach Mike McCarthy said about Cobb in his press conference. "He won't practice tomorrow again. He'll see the doctor Friday morning so he potentially may go on Friday."

McCarthy also said that he didn't learn of Finley's injury until right before the day's practice, so he didn't have much information on it and had no feeling on the severity or status of the tight end.

Neither wide receiver Greg Jennings nor tackle Bryan Bulaga practiced on Wednesday either, but only Jennings was ruled out for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions on New Year's Day.

"Greg's not ready to play this week," said McCarthy. "I had an opportunity to watch him go through his rehab workout. He's getting close, but he won't be ready to go."

Though Bulaga wasn't officially ruled out of the regular season finale, McCarthy indicated he won't practice until Friday when he'll see the team doctors again.

The news wasn't all negative at practice, however. Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett was cleared from his concussion suffered in Week 14 and practiced on a limited basis for the first time in three weeks. Pickett will be given all week to see whether or not he'll be available to play in the Lions game.

Tackle Chad Clifton was also a full participant in practice as the coaching staff decides whether he'll be able to return to play in the Week 17 game or the playoffs.

Clifton has been missing since Week 5 when he suffered a hamstring injury and later had his progress impeded by a back issue.

"I'd like to play Chad, but Chad hasn't been through a padded practice yet," said McCarthy. "We're going to be in pads tomorrow, so that will be a threshold day for him. We'll take the full week and make some decisions."

McCarthy has not come out and announced his strategy for the relatively meaningless final regular season game, whether he'll rest his starters or give his injured players more time to recuperate before the playoffs.

The head coach has said the team will play to win the game, but with which players remains in doubt. McCarthy said he's getting his team prepared to play regardless of circumstances because of the unforeseen variables that can pop up at any time.

"Hopefully nothing happens over the course of the week, but things do happen on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at practice," said McCarthy. "So it's important to have everybody ready.

"There's things that we've had guys get sick Saturday night, we've had every scenario, we've had guys show up to the stadium breaking out in hives, so you have to get ready to play the game. That will be our approach, and it won't change this week."

It's a valid point by McCarthy. He could have every intention of sitting quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, but if backup Matt Flynn contracts an illness or has a freak injury in the next four days, the Packers would be left with little recourse than to have Rodgers at least active for the upcoming game.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

I say sit Finley. Let's see what Ryan Taylor and DJ Williams can do.

Off on a quick tangent, I was curious so I looked up Finley's stats this season: 48 receptions, 703 yards and 7 TDs.

He may not have been Jimmy Graham dominant this season, but that's a damn fine season for a tight end. And the best part is he clearly has room to improve.

Matt's picture

Yes, but if you add in what should have resulted from all his dropped passes it would have probably been 55-60 receptions, 800-900 yards and 8-9 TDs. I think he's a very good player, but mentally he was off this year.

Evan's picture

No question. Which is why I added the "And the best part is he clearly has room to improve" part at the end.

Matt's picture

Fair enough. I curious to see if they let him walk or if they franchise him for a year to see if his lapses were a fluke or not.

Evan's picture

(I hope that didn't come off as snippy. I didn't mean it to.)

I'd be shocked if they let Finley walk. At the very least, I think they'll franchise him, which should be interesting since he's said (or his agent has) that if that happens, he'll argue for the WR tender. That's total BS imo. I just hope it doesn't turn into another Javon Walker situation.

CSS's picture

Silverstin summarizes Finley's overall value quite well here:

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/variety-act-7v3b7f8-135146223.html

They will franchise Finley and he's worth every penny. You've got to think the drops are an anomaly, like they were last year at critical points for Nelson and Jones.

Bob's picture

Finley has also been targeted 84 times. Rodgers completes almost 70% of his passes, except when he goes to Finley. That percentage drops close to 55%, not good. Now that you know that stat, how confident are you going to be on the last play of a game with a pass going to a receiver with a 50/50 chance of completion.

CSS's picture

It's not 50/50. He's caught 48 balls, dropped 11 while being targeted 85 times. That means 26 of those balls, while targeting Finley, were neither dropped or caught. The throw was in his area and incomplete by Rodgers (off target).

Thus not a '50/50' proposition when the 26 missed targets aren't on Finley. Not to say it was all Rodgers. Could have been a bad route, bad adjustment or bad throw.

Mike M's picture

I think a lot of those 26 missed targets can be explained by Rodgers being more willing to throw Finley a close to uncatchable ball than any other receiver. He seems to have the most confidence in Finley's ability to make a "Holy schnikies" catch than anyone else.

This seems like as good a place as any to mention this. Did anyone else notice that Finley refused to re-align when Rodgers told him to? It was on a wr screen to Cobb. I really do like Finley but that's inexcusable.

Evan's picture

I don't know what play you're talking about, but I find that very hard to believe.

Mike M's picture

First play of the 2nd quarter.

packeraaron's picture

You know what? I think Finley was already up on the line of scrimmage there and was simply telling Rodgers he didn't need to come up after Crabtree came off the line. I'm going to check with some "sources" and find out ;)

gbfninminnolnd's picture

I don't know about that. It seems to me if anybody gets "uncatchable" balls its nelson. And I don't know exact numbers but i' d bet 6 of 11 of his dropped balls were right in his hands Android very catchable.

Bob's picture

Rodgers throws to Finley are no different than any of the other receivers. He throws the ball where only the receiver has a chance to catch it. The difference between Finley and the other receivers is the other receivers make those catches. That drops number of eleven is looking at this with rose colored glasses. He had a least 3 drops sunday night, one erased by a penalty. I estimate his missed receptions that should have been caught at more like 25.

CSS's picture

That's not analysis, it's a grudge. A fairly crazy one at that.

Bob's picture

This has nothing to do with a grudge. There is nothing I would like more than for Finley to be an elite receiver. This is not a attack of Finley or your opinion.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck, and I'm not going to tell you it's a swan because that is what you want to here. I do not see him as an elite receiver, to me he is just a guy with a lot of could be in his game. I think they can get the same production from the tightend position with at least 3 other tightends on their roster.

packeraaron's picture

<em> I think they can get the same production from the tightend position with at least 3 other tightends on their roster.</em>

Then why didn't they when he was out?

CSS's picture

When you say he's missed '25' receptions it's a grudge, and it's insane. When you say he dropped 'at least 3 passes' Sunday you couldn't have watched the game.

"I think they can get the same production from at least 3 other guys on their roster."

Just stop, now you're just embarrassing yourself. I'm passing that message along from Nelson and Jones.

ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

Also take note of Finley pancaking #98 of the Bears - it was on a TD drive in the third quarter, the play where they tried to throw it to DD at the sideline of the end zone and he couldn't hang on/get his feet down. At the snap, Finley is next to Newhouse and meant to chip, but he just blows up the DE (and then Newhouse falls on him).

fish/crane's picture

hives?

Brian Carriveau's picture

I think he's referring to the time Chad Clifton was an unexpected scratch before a game a couple years ago, against Miami perhaps. If I remember correctly, Daryn Colledge had to play left tackle for that game.

fish/crane's picture

Thank you. Seemed way out there random.

packeraaron's picture

Correct on all counts Brian.

Ruppert's picture

Finley is really good. I can't believe so many people are bitching about him these days. His "off year" is 700+ yards and 7 tds through 15 games. Think about that, people. We better pay him or franchise him.

And I'd feel pretty damn good about Finley hauling in a winner with no time left, too.

PackersRS's picture

Amen.

Every single DC has gameplanned for Finley. Every single one has always had coverage underneat and on top of him.

Is he dropping too many passes? Yes. As Nagler pointed out, maybe he's pressing too much, you can see on his interviews and on his tweets that he's clearly eager to prove himself. It's no coincidence that he didn't tell the coaches about his injury.

But it'll come the time when Finley will just relax and play his game. Look at the other seasons and see how many drops he had. He has great hands.

He's a key component of this offense as it is, drops and all. Outside of Rodgers, nobody has more responsibilities than Finley, as he plays tight end, slot receiver, split end, flanker, and h-back. Not to mention all the time he's motioned and used as a decoy for Rodgers to identify coverage. You don't get the same results motioning a WR that is almost always covered by a WR, instead of Finley that sees CBs, Ss and LBs covering him. And he's 24 for crying out loud. It's crazy to think that he'll only get better with more experience in this offense.

Oppy's picture

This is the post I would have written, agree on all counts.

redlights's picture

I bet this is the conversation that MM and TT had last year.

TT: Mike, he's just SO good, and 24; we can't give up on him.

MM: But he gets lost in formations and doesn't keep his mouth shut; he drives me up a wall. Go draft two more TE's and we'll see if he isn't replaceable.

TT: Really? You want five TE's?

MM: There only draft choices. It's not like we need help on D......

I no longer think that Finley will play elsewhere in 2012; but I believe that the Pack has never kept the franchise tag on a player for a whole year, either. So that means incentive-laden contract? This is a tough spot for MM and TT.

I initially wondered (with no basis except conjecture) if Finley wasn't coming up with an injury this week so he could sit for this game instead of risking injury. Doubtful, but he is immature.....

Also wondered without basis if Clifton isn't seeing the writing on the wall that he is gone next year, and wanted to keep a little more tread on the tires and hook on somewhere else next year (Minny wouldn't be a stretch).

Pretty baseless, I agree, but nothing is impossible.

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