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GREEN BAY - Despite being activated, the plan was for Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb to play only if needed Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

With a two-touchdown deficit at halftime, Cobb was needed.

It was all hands on deck once the Packers returned for the third quarter. That meant Cobb, who missed the previous week’s game in Atlanta because of a hamstring injury, was given the green light.

“I personally was not expecting him to play,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I took a conservative approach with him. I was going to use him only when we needed him. Obviously, we needed him in the second half, and he gave us everything he’s got.”

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Cobb finished with two catches for 14 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown that pulled the Packers within five points with 3:29 left. They eventually lost 31-26.

Cobb said he had no answer for why the Packers didn’t turn to himself sooner. He said it was difficult to stay loose on the sideline, but he stayed ready.

“I was waiting for my number to be called,” he said. “Obviously, there was some apprehension with my injury, and we didn’t know for sure if I was going to be able to get out there. But once I was cleared, I didn’t quite know exactly what to expect, so I just had to be prepared for my number.”

The Packers clearly took a cautious approach with key players Sunday. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews was inactive for the second week despite a hamstring injury. Cobb said he “would have loved to play a little bit more” but when asked said McCarthy’s decision didn’t upset him.

Cobb said he entered Sunday expecting to play less than a normal game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he thought Cobb might play in the first half.

“I talked to him before the game,” Rodgers said, “and he gave me a thumbs up after his workout that he was going to be up, which we were kind of 50-50 whether or not he was going to play. Then he wasn’t out for a while. I wasn’t sure what was going on there, but it was good to get hi in there in the end.”

BOX SCOREColts 31, Packers 26

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rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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