Randall Cobb, the Green Bay Packers’ do-it-all receiver and returner, will test his injured ankle and knee on Friday in hopes of playing in Sunday’s critical regular-season finale at Minnesota.
“I think it’s a possibility,” Cobb said of playing in a game that would give the team a first-round bye if victorious. “We’re going to take it day by day and see where we’re at on Sunday. We’ll test it tomorrow and see how much progression I’ve made over the past few days and we’ll see where we’re at on Sunday.”
Cobb was a spectator at Thursday’s practice, other than throwing some passes to his fellow receivers during drills. Cobb, who is 46 receiving yards and 36 kickoff-return yards from being the first player in NFL history to hit the 1,000-yard mark in both categories, was injured at the end of a third-quarter punt return on Sunday against Tennessee. He initially was helped by trainers before Cobb jogged off the field on his own. A few minutes later, he walked to the locker room.
“I was worried the whole time,” Cobb said. “I jogged off the field because my mom was there. I know she was crazy in the stands so that’s the only reason I jogged off the field. Sunday, it was hurting pretty bad. When I woke up Monday, I felt a lot better. Just trying to get better each day.”
Coach Mike McCarthy said Cobb’s availability will be determined on Friday or Saturday. If he can’t play or is limited to only offense, Jeremy Ross will return punts — though Tramon Williams and Jordy Nelson took reps at Thursday’s practice. Ross and running back DuJuan Harris are possibilities to return kickoffs.
“We’ll decide that with all the information,” special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said. “We’ll get to the end of the week and, instead of speculating, we’ll make an objective decision based on all the information available.”
When healthy, Cobb will be the returner for the playoff run. McCarthy earlier in the week said he’s not going to coach scared, and Cobb said he’s not going ot play scared.
“This is a physical, dangerous game we play,” Cobb said. “At any given time your career could end. I had flashes mine was over on just that play Sunday, because I didn’t know the severity of it. You can’t go out there and play scared. You have to go out there and play ball, regardless of what play it is, special teams, offense or defense. You just have to go out there and play ball.”
Packers injury report
Out: DB Charles Woodson (collarbone). Did not participate: WR Randall Cobb (ankle/knee); CB Davon House (shoulder/hip); RB James Starks (knee). Limited: K Mason Crosby (illness); C Jeff Saturday (neck/shoulder); G Josh Sitton (concussion). Full: TE Tom Crabtree (hamstring); C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee); RB Alex Green (concussion); WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring); DE C.J. Wilson (knee); DE Jerel Worthy (hamstring).
“I had a chance to talk to C.J. after practice,” McCarthy said. “He said he feels great but you know, he always tells me that. He looked good at practice. The padded work was excellent, a ton of energy out there today. Everything looks good, we’ll see what (the doctor) says in the morning.”
Crosby returned to practice after missing Wednesday due to illness. Sitton went through the jog-through part of practice and should be good for Sunday.
Vikings injury report
Did not participate: RB Adrian Peterson (abdomen); CB Antoine Winfield (knee/hand). Limited: DE Brian Robison (shoulder). Full: DE Jared Allen (shoulder/illness); P Chris Kluwe (left knee); T Phil Loadholt (knee); CB Marcus Sherels (quad).
Allen did not participate on Wednesday. Otherwise, the Vikings’ report is unchanged.
— Will Woodson play in the playoffs after missing the final nine games with a broken collarbone? “A lot of our decisions, you have risk assessment,” McCarthy said. “I think that the time I have spent around Charles Woodson, his risk assessment will go out the window when it comes time to play in a playoff game. We’re trying to be smart with this. Obviously he’s part of the decision but it’s the doctor’s call right now.”
— Offensive coordinator Tom Clements says he’s not concerned about center Evan Dietrich-Smith and right tackle Don Barclay coping with the raucous Metrodome: “They’ve played on the road, played in difficult environments. It’s loud there but we feel confident they’ll be able to get the job done.”
— In one of the more bizarre Pro Bowl selections, center Jeff Saturday was named to the NFC team one week after being benched. “I will say this for Jeff Saturday: You don’t ever apologize for anything in this league,” McCarthy said. “Everything is earned. He was voted in by the fans, his peers and coaches, so that’s the process. But as far as my comments (from Wednesday), I was talking about the actual game. The game day performance, the quality is not where it needs to be. And I know everybody feels that way. What the plan of action is, I’m not educated on. I’m hoping that it will improve.”
— The Packers have the third-best Super Bowl odds, according to online bookmaker Bovada. Denver is 4/1, New England 19/4 and Green Bay 6/1. Those three are followed by Atlanta at 13/2, Houston at 7/1, San Francisco at 15/2 and Seattle at 8/1. The AFC, by the way, is a 2.5-point favorite to win the Super Bowl.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.