Wednesday, August 24, 2011
BBAO: Randall Cobb in doubt for opener
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
Rookie receiver/kick returner Randall Cobb has been the talk of Green Bay Packers training camp. But will he disappear from the public spotlight during the walk-up to the regular season? An unusual injury has called his immediate availability into question, notes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Cobb apparently suffered contusions on both knees during a kickoff return during last weekend's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. He has not practiced since, is walking somewhat gingerly and can't say for sure that he will play in the Sept. 8 season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
These types of injuries are why teams build depth, and the Packers at this point are more than prepared to absorb it. Rookie Alex Green could return kickoffs while Jordy Nelson and Chastin West are candidates to return punts. And if anything, they have a surplus of receivers to use on offense at this point.
Obviously everyone wants to see a dynamic playmaker on the field right away. But it's not yet clear if that will happen for Cobb.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- The Packers had an unusual fight Tuesday in practice, notes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Two offensive linemen, Marshall Newhouse and Nick McDonald, had to be separated by teammates and coaches at the end of a team drill.
- The Packers' young offensive linemen need more time to develop, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
- Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune is starting to wonder if Chicago Bears receiver Roy Williams is going to make the impact the team has hoped for. Pompei: "Williams has pedigree, having been the seventh pick of the 2004 draft. He has history with [offensive coordinator Mike] Martz on the Lions and with receivers coach Darryl Drake at Texas. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he has the size that causes matchup problems. What he does not have is evidence, at 29, that he is a dynamic receiver."
- Williams isn't in good enough shape, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- The Bears should be happy about the way their offensive line played Monday night against the New York Giants, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
- The Detroit Lions sold out Saturday's preseason game against the New England Patriots, notes the Detroit News.
- The Lions have been practicing this week with a number of important veterans on the sideline, including defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (shoulder) and running back Jahvid Best (concussion). Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com has the complete list.
- Maurice Stovall is trying to make the Lions' roster as a receiver/special-teams ace, notes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
- It will be good for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to get a hit a few times this weekend by the Patriots, writes Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press.
- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has brought stability to the franchise, writes Judd Zulgad, who is now with 1500ESPN.com.
- Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on that topic: "Apparently, there is something to be said for tranquility."
- Vikings defensive tackle Letroy Guion is turning some heads in Vikings training camp, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.