The Green Bay Packers‘ rookie receiver Jeremy Ross proved more than capable for covering for the injured Randall Cobb on special teams.
Ross returned two punts for a combined 41 yards and three kickoffs for a combined 86 yards, netting 20+ averages in both categories. Last week he ran two punts back for a combined 62 yards. I like this kid.
Again, it’s just a two week sample, but it’s an exciting one. This is great. Fans and coaches want to protect the do-it-all Cobb, but don’t want to sacrifice field position. If Ross is the player he has seemed in the last two weeks, this give Green Bay the return power they need while not having to jeopardize Cobb. (It seems awfully mean to talk about Ross as expendable, but that’s the way it goes, rookie.)
Packers need help from special teams. As potent as the offense is, it has had trouble hitting its stride consistently, particularly at the beginning of games. A strong return game would obviously be a huge help. It’s pretty fun to give Aaron Rodgers and his offense the ball with a short field.
With the playoffs upon us, it’s time for players to step up big, as James Starks did (perhaps the only four consecutive games Starks managed to stay healthy for in his career) on the road to the Super Bowl in 2010.
Green Bay has a rematch with the Minnesota Vikings up next and, should they win that, they will have a very tough road to the Super Bowl. Special teams is a game-changer and would be much needed in a match-up against, say, the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks. If Ross can continue to slash his way up the field, and if the coverage unit continues to provide great blocking, the rookie could prove to be the difference-maker in the playoffs.