- Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When Randall Cobb walked dejectedly toward the Lambeau Field tunnel on Saturday, initially fearing he might join Jordy Nelson with a season-ending injury, the issue was no longer about whether the NFL preseason is, as Aaron Rodgers suggested, meaningless.
It was about whether the Green Bay Packers' regular season would fit that description, too.
Early indications suggested the shoulder injury Cobb sustained on the third play from scrimmage in Saturday's 39-26 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Eagles will not knock him out for the season like Nelson's knee injury six days earlier did.
It did, however, bring that M-word back into the conversation as the Packers saw their season flash before their eyes when Cobb walked to the locker room after he fell hard on his right shoulder. And it put a scare into the Packers, who wisely sat Rodgers because three of his five starting offensive linemen were on the pregame injured list.
"I hate it; I definitely don't like the preseason," said left guard Josh Sitton, one of those injured linemen. "It's a good time to get your [act] together and all that, but when you see this many guys going down with injuries during meaningless games, it's definitely frustrating."
The debate about the meaning and value of preseason games will never go away, and coach Mike McCarthy weighed in on that, too.
"You have to play football," McCarthy said. "I think it's nonsense to think you can just go and not play your starters throughout preseason. It's not practical, we all signed up for four preseason games, it's what it is."
After Cobb left the game, McCarthy also pulled Davante Adams – who started the preseason as the No. 3 receiver, moved up to No. 2 after Nelson's injury and would have been No. 1 if Cobb's injury knocked him out for the year.
The feeling after Nelson's injury was that the Packers should still be considered a Super Bowl contender. The sentiment would have been much different if the news on Cobb was worse.
"It felt like a bad dream in that situation, having Jordy go down last week and then three plays in this series. It’s just unfortunate," Cobb said.
And then he added: "At least there's a silver lining in this injury."