The Packers came into the game with four active wide receivers and ended the game with two. Star receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones both were knocked out of the game early with knee injuries.
Jones was the first of the two sidelined. During a running play in the first quarter, he was seen blocking a defensive back. As the play was approaching his block, Jones got his leg rolled up underneath him and was in obvious pain. He was able to limp off the field but was brought into the locker room and came back out (still limping) in sweatpants and a pullover.
Cobb’s injury was much different than Jones’ and looked much worse. Cobb was injured right before halftime as he ran a slant pattern and got hit with a helmet to his right knee. The knee seemed to hyperextend and Cobb instantly reached for it. He was then helped off the field and carted into the locker room. He returned to the sidelines on a cart and was on crutches.
The injury to Jones was a play that you see a lot in football — a receiver blocking out in front of a play and not being able to see what happens behind him. It was an unfortunate injury. Cobb’s injury, on the other hand, got Aaron Rodgers upset and he wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion on the play. The QB told reporters after the game, “He [Matt Elam] had enough time to make a legal hit in the hitting zone. I felt he had plenty of time not to take a guy’s legs out.”
I can certainly see Rodgers’ side of the play, but unfortunately, it is how the NFL is treating hits from defensive players. The league has put such an emphasis on making sure players don’t get hit high to eliminate concussions that you no longer see those types of injuries. However, we are starting to see a bunch of knee injuries because of the rule change and you will continue to see them.
Head coach Mike McCarthy tried to stay optimistic about the loss to Jones and Cobb. In his post-game press conference, McCarthy said, “My hope for Randall is good information tomorrow. James Jones, I’m hoping for good info there, too.”
The Packers will need to cross their fingers on both Cobb and Jones and hope that the news is good. If they are out for a period of time, expect the Packers too look for another receiver that is available in free agency and put more responsibility in the hands of Jarrett Boykin.