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Randall Cobb Struggling with Being Tough and Being Smart with Biceps Injury

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Randall Cobb Struggling with Being Tough and Being Smart with Biceps Injury

For a team that already lost Greg Jennings and Donald Driver during the offseason and is now dealing with a knee injury to Jordy Nelson that will keep him out until at least the regular-season opener, the last thing the Packers need is another lingering injury at the wide receiver position.

Randall Cobb's biceps appeared to be bothering him Tuesday at Green Bay's training camp practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy, but he fought through the pain and practiced anyway.

For Cobb, he's struggling with the push and pull of trying to prepare himself and the team for the 2013 season and resting himself because it may be in the best interests of his own personal health.

"The hardest part for me is, I'm a tough guy," said Cobb. "I want to be on the field. I don't want to miss practice. I hate missing practice. Trying to be smart and being tough at the same time is difficult for me. But I understand that I have limitations and that I have to be smart about it, but it's hard and difficult at times."

The logical follow-up question to Cobb when he met with the media on Tuesday was, do you think you were smart today?

"No," said Cobb succinctly, declining to elaborate.

The injury first cropped up during the Packers' annual Family Night intra-squad scrimmage back on Aug. 3, though Cobb couldn't pinpoint when it happened. It wasn't enough to stop Cobb from playing, but the first-string offense wasn't exactly out of the field for a long period of time in any case.

Cobb soldiered on as if nothing happened and participated in the team's next practice on Tues. Aug. 6, although he dropped out in the midst of that session. He returned again on Wednesday, but practiced on only a limited basis the rest of the week.

The Packers erred on the side of caution during their preseason opener, keeping Cobb relegated to the sidelines. It seemed like the proper decision, preventing him from making the injury any worse.

But there was Cobb, back out at practice on Tuesday, perhaps in spite of common sense. Even so, Cobb didn't seem overly concerned, and neither did McCarthy.

"In Randall's case it's something we understand what the injury is, and we wouldn't put him out there if we thought that he was in jeopardy of moving forward and getting healthy," said McCarthy. "But every case is different.

"There's a lot of time that's spent between the doctors, the trainers, Ted Thompson and then to myself, as far as if a player can't practice, when he's cleared on the physical, is he in the limited category as far as his reps just like Eddie Lacy and DuJuan Harris, or opposed to going full. So it's something that a lot of time is spent. Frankly, it's not one of my favorite things to do because it is very time consuming during the mornings. In Randall's case, I think it's something that he's going to probably be battling for a while."

Based on McCarthy's comments, Cobb's injury would appear to be something that's not going to be put to bed anytime soon. But it's also not something that's going to prevent him from playing, at least when the games count.

The Packers might continue to play safe, trying not to expose Cobb to further injury during exhibition games, but the regular season seems to be fair game.

Perhaps the more difficult decision will be whether to continue playing Cobb in his return role on special teams.

If the Packers want Cobb to be an integral part of the offense in 2013, they may have to sacrifice the surest thing they have in the return aspect of the game.

Players such of Jeremy Ross and Johnathan Franklin have been taking the bulk of the leftover repetitions on kick and punt returns during training camp, but neither has proven without doubt that they can be as dangerous and reliable as Cobb.

No matter how things work out on special teams, Cobb wants to push through the injury that he says is in part limiting his mobility and in part forcing him to fight through a pain threshold.

"I know at some point during the  season I'm going to be in pain, and I'm going to have to play. And I'm going to have to be productive when I do play," said Cobb. "Trying to push through it right now is more of a mindset for me. It's nothing to be worried about. I may look like I'm in a lot of pain and I may be in a lot of pain, but I'll be fine."

 Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

redlights's picture

Sounds like an abundance of caution to me.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

"in a lot of pain" and "nothing to worry about" go together like peanut butter and dog puke....

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

There's a big gap between being hurt and being injured. I for one am glad to see Randall attempt to play through it... Sometimes, you gotta rub a little dirt on it and play fuckin football... I mean, Christ, this is still supposed to be football.

Where has all the caution the team has exercised got us? Arguably the most injured team the last 3, going on 4 years... If it ain't broke, or torn... Eff it, go play... Can't hurt.

Longshanks's picture

I disagree. McCarthy's an idiot if he continues to play this guy. We know what he can do. There's no effin point playing Cobb when he's in pain in the PRESEASON!!. I don't care if he's acting like a tough guy. Shut the guy down. It's in the best interest of the team. Cobb will never take himself out. It's like asking Favre to sit, not going to happen.

If anything, having almost zero receivers in the preseason will change McCarthy's mindset and get him to focus more on the run which we all know he gives up on too quickly despite his claims of wanting to run the ball more every single year.

This is the damn preseason to focus more on the run than the pass and we FINALLY have the rb's to work with. It needs to start now. Sit Cobb and Nelson and hope by week one both are healthy along with James Jones.

What we need is to get Lacy and Harris ready for the regular season and figure out who the two other rb's will be to back them up. Do we really need to air it out this preseason? We know what Rodgers and his starting three can do. What we don't know is who the starting rb's are along with who the best starting five offensive linemen are. Focus on those things and sit Mr. Cobb the rest of this preseason.

zeke's picture

I think it depends on the risk of further injury, as well. While Cobb doesn't need to prove himself, some players need to practice in order to play well and it sounds as though Cobb considers himself one of those players.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

"I think it depends on the risk of further injury, as well."

Absolutely, to me, it doesn't sound like practicing with this ailment will exacerbate the biceps. Of course, if it was something that could get worse, I wouldn't want him out there. But, this is the NFL, your gonna get bumps and bruises... Sometimes, you just gotta tough it out.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

You're

Longshanks's picture

Sounds like it's a little more than just a bump and a bruise. Apparently McCarthy read what I said last night and agreed with me. Cobb is sitting out today.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

"sit Mr. Cobb the rest of this preseason."

Aaah... No.

If things go perfectly, we "may" get Jordy back for the opener. If so, he will have missed the entire preseason. If Randall sits, he will have missed the entire preseason. In that scenario our arguably #'s 1 and 2 guys suit up for the first time against the niners... I don't like that one bit. I know our passing game is good, but Rodgers needs to work on timing with every WR he can, he can't with Jordy, but he has to with Cobb.

BTW, I'm on board with focusing on the running game the rest of the PS for the most part, but, the passing game still needs attention to (especially since we hang our hats on it), being that there has been so much turn-over at WR... Aaron needs to throw to these guys. All of them.

Fi crane's picture

I'll take 54 Randall Cobbs.

Evan's picture

Then you're going to have to cut one.

hayward4president's picture

Cut the one w the bicep injury.

Evan's picture

haha.

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