Packers CB Damarious Randall gets beat, then benched vs. Bears
GREEN BAY - For all the redemptive bravado and bold proclamations he made in training camp, Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall has seen his season crumble in less than a month.
Randall, who entered the regular season as the No. 2 cornerback behind veteran Davon House, was benched in favor of Josh Hawkins during the second half of Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bears. He was pulled from the lineup after yielding a touchdown shortly before halftime and finished the game in the locker room long before the final buzzer.
By the fourth quarter, Randall was nowhere to be seen along the Packers' sideline.
“That’s actually an internal matter that we’ll keep internal,” coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. “We’ll work through that.”
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With House inactive due to a quadriceps injury, Randall earned the start opposite rookie Kevin King in the base defense. His evening was fairly uneventful until the closing moments of the second quarter, when wide receiver Kendall Wright blew by him for an easy touchdown reception in the back corner of the end zone.
Randall immediately threw up his hands in disgust and pouted along the sideline for the next several minutes. He eventually took a seat on the opposite end of the sideline from his defensive teammates and showed little interest in the remainder of the game.
The veteran House sat with Randall in an attempt to soothe his obvious frustration.
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“Just trying to make sure he kept his head in the game, that type of thing,” House said. “Just the typical shake it off. It’s all part of the game. As cornerbacks, you’re going to get scored on. Deion (Sanders) got scored on, (Darrelle) Revis got scored on, Patrick Peterson gets scored on. It’s part of the job.”
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers turned to Hawkins as a replacement for Randall, and it quickly proved a wise decision. Hawkins played with speed and aggression throughout the second half as the Packers held the Bears to a single score.
Hawkins finished with five tackles and a team-high three passes defensed in what was arguably the best performance of his young career.
“Loved it, loved it,” House said of Hawkins’ performance. “I mean, I loved it. He reminds me of (Lenzy) Pipkins a lot too, even (LaDarius) Gunter when Gunter was here. They might not be as talented I guess you could say, but their (heart) will make up for a lot. That’s the one thing he has. He has confidence, he has heart and he’s going to play his balls off.”
Neither House nor Hawkins knew why Randall left the sideline in the second half.
Randall was gone by the time reporters entered the locker room after the game.