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Will Cobb’s Availability Impact Vikings Approach?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 28, 2012 – 7:28 am

The Packers have 13 players listed on this week’s injury report, many of them key players. Many of those key players are making progress and should be available for Sunday’s season finale against the Vikings.

K Mason Crosby (illness) and G Josh Sitton (concussion) went from not practicing on Wednesday to being limited on Thursday, and C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) and DEs CJ Wilson (knee) and Jerel Worthy (hamstring) went from limited on Wednesday to full participants on Thursday. On top of that, WR Jordy Nelson looks to be on track to play after missing the past 3 games with a hamstring injury.

Another important name to watch with regard to availability on Sunday is Randall Cobb. He injured his ankle on a 3rd quarter punt return during last week’s win over Tennessee, forcing him out of the game. Listed on the injury report with a knee and ankle injury, Cobb practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday. Earlier in the week, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the team would test Cobb’s knee on Friday to gauge his availability for Sunday.

“I think it’s a possibility,” Cobb told Packers.com on Thursday after he observed practice. “We’re going to take it day by day and see where we are on Sunday.”

If Cobb is on the sidelines rather than on the field Sunday, it will help the Vikings. Cobb averages 25.4 yards per kickoff return and 9.4 yards per punt return, both solid numbers. In fact, Cobb is the caliber of returner that the Vikings could alter their approach on kickoffs based on Cobb’s status. If Cobb plays, the Vikings may elect to have K Blair Walsh attempt to blast his kickoffs out of the end zone for touchbacks. If Cobb doesn’t play, perhaps the Vikings will elect to have Walsh put hang time under his kicks, land them just inside the goal line, and then rely on the coverage team to make a play – something they’ve done frequently this season, as illustrated by the fact that no one has returned a kickoff past the 25-yardline against the Vikings since October 7.

How the Vikings approach kickoffs this week, whether Cobb plays or not, remains to be seen. And Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer did not tip his hand on Thursday.

“Randall Cobb is a great returner,” Priefer said. “I know he’s a little banged up right now, but I expect him to play. I would expect him to be back there because this game is big for them as well. I think touchbacks are fine with a returner like that, but we’re going to kick it high and deep and we’re going to cover them and when he brings them out we have to be there to make the play.”

Also keep in mind, this season has been Cobb’s best on offense. He ranks 1st on Green Bay in receptions (80), targets (104), receiving yards (954) and 20-yard receptions (17).

Expect some news to develop on Friday afternoon regarding Cobb’s availability. But it won’t be a surprise if the Packers wait until 90 minutes prior to kickoff before making public their decision on whether Cobb will play or not.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 21 Comments »


21 Responses to “Will Cobb’s Availability Impact Vikings Approach?”

  1. By Matthias on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    I hate it. Cobb is back, Nelson and Jennings….. Still we will beat them.

  2. By BlueBird7 on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    This is where we will miss having Percy Harvin returning kickoffs.

  3. By purple pucker power on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    the secret to making the play offs,have A.P. return kicks!

  4. By PurplHaze on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    Play him, sit him … IT DOESN’T MATTER! The Cheese Heads will lose in the Dome! SKOL!

  5. By vikingbob136 on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    You always prepare for their best. What they show up with is not our problem.
    If we are ready for their number one guy, then we should be ready for any backup they throw out there. Let’s get it done on Sunday!!

  6. By MuskyFever on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    Randall Cobb is a wannabe Percy Harvin. he is a good player but will never reach the status that Percy has put himself in. NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PAY PERCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or Trade him for FITZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. By Tman on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    MuskyFever – I agree! I think the trade with Fitz would be great. Percy is a great player, but he also brings a lot of drama and injuries. Fitz is plain solid!

  8. By Parkway on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    Rams 2 first rounders for Harvin.

    Patterson, Ogletree, Banks in the first round. Superbowl next 10 years.

  9. By vikingbob136 on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    Stop with the Fitzgerald talk. His contract is huge and he would have to agree to have it restructured. Just go with the young rookie Lee (USC)next year. He will be another AJ Green.
    If Percy doesn’t like the cold weather here, trade him and get a number 1 and number 3 for him. He can play in Jacksonville with his pal Tebow.

  10. By Parkway on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    You mean 2014? Lee isn’t coming out til 2014

  11. By purple pucker power on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    sanchez iz biqueen material-tebow iz next O.C. all this post season talk iz cheesy

  12. By MuskyFever on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    I will stop with the Fitz talk when people stop with the Webb talk… Or when people stop telling me Ponder is the future… So… I guess never???

  13. By MuskyFever on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    You would be amazed what players will do to get out of a team that they don’t like playing for. Fitz is a dream, dreams acn come true, there just unlikley is all

  14. By RichardA1 on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    13 players? watch the little weazil’s come up with some cheesey, oh, there all fine now. aint fooling me!

  15. By vikingbob136 on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    @ Parkway
    They have been talking about Lee coming out early. But you are right, he is currently a sophmore.

  16. By jeff LeBlanc on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    I just wanted to make a suggestion,
    when I think of the teams of old(including the vikings). I remember more “bombs” on the first plays of the game and more surprise plays. I think the Vikings ought to do these surprise plays against the packers and get the crowd involved. Who knows maybe ponder will have the best game of his carreer!

  17. By Vikes4life06 on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

  18. By Gravy on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    45-17, Packers.

  19. By pack13timechamps on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    Pack will roll in the Humptydump!

  20. By pack13timechamps on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    Once again Musky Fever…….
    Cobb isn’t as good as Harvin? Don’t make me laugh! That dude doesn’t play half the games for crying out loud. When Cobb has as many years in as Harvin, let’s compare numbers and then we can talk. Harvin’s numbers won’t even be close due to having a rag arm QB throwing the ball to him. I would suggest Ziggy spend some money and get a real QB, he wouldn’t even make our team. He can only “Ponder” at how good Rodgers is at “Aaron it out”.
    Maybe next year Queens……hehe….or not.

  21. By purple pucker power on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    The real cheese (pack 13 soon to be 14) is G.B. got to where it is @ in large part to A.R.(All to Real),and the minny queens due to sub par qb play,friggin tebow would be an upgrade,sanchez much improved,and vick potential playoff? You see where this is going,Winning isn’t everything- it’s the ONLY thing!!! Hail to the cheese heads!

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