Packers beat writers Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski discuss injuries at wide receiver and in the secondary. Packers News
GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy ruled veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb out for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. On Friday morning, McCarthy said Cobb's hamstring was not going to allow him to play.
McCarthy was more optimistic about fellow receiver Davante Adams, who is expected to practice Saturday as he manages a calf injury. The coach added there is "hope" that Geronimo Allison will be cleared from the concussion he suffered against Buffalo in time to play, although Allison also was listed Friday with a hamstring injury. Both receivers are questionable for Sunday.
"This is an important day," McCarthy said. "Usually by the end of (Friday) you usually have a pretty good idea how it’s going to shake out. We have more information that we’ll rely on today than maybe normal weeks, but this is all part of it. Everybody goes through it. Injuries are a part of the game. You have to be able to play through injuries in games, play through injuries in practice, play through injuries that you’re able to prepare for. That’s all part of your game plan. These are all normal things you have to deal with."
Cobb, 28, hasn’t played a full season since 2015. He missed one game last season and three games in 2016.
A free agent at the end of the year, Cobb started the season with 17 catches for 194 yards through three games. It put him on a pace to approach the Pro Bowl numbers he had in 2014, when he caught 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He injured the hamstring in practice in the run-up to the game against Buffalo and said there was no way he could play against the Bills.
Through the midweek practices, the team worked with rookie receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling, J'Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown. Valdes-Scantling is the only one of the trio to catch a pass (he has two) and Moore played 11 snaps against the Bills. St. Brown has been active for two games but has yet to play on offense.
“They haven’t had much of an opportunity early in the season,” Cobb said of the three rookie wide receivers. “Those opportunities are going to come and it’s all about just them being ready for them. I think they’re progressing but it’s easy to say that in practice, but when you get in games it’s a different situation.”
Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland (hamstring) and Jaire Alexander (groin), safeties Jermaine Whitehead (back) and Kentrell Brice (ankle) and offensive linemen Justin McCray (shoulder) and Lucas Patrick (back) also were listed as questionable.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was removed from the injury report, indicating improvement with his left knee. Cornerback Kevin King, right tackle Bryan Bulaga and tight end Jimmy Graham also were removed from the list.
The Lions will be without injured defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) and former Packers guard T.J. Lang (concussion)
Fackrell hopes to build off big game
Since being drafted in the third round out of Utah State in 2016, outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell had yet to make a sizable impact on the Packers' defense. Through the first 32 games of his career, spanning 2016 through the first three games of this year, he registered five sacks.
Then came Sunday against Buffalo, when Fackrell dropped Josh Allen three times.
Not only was it a single-game career high, it matched his career high for an entire season.
“It's more so just about just kind of cutting loose and doing what he does best, which is being a natural athlete as opposed to overthinking situations,” fellow outside linebacker Clay Matthews said.
Fackrell has played 66 defensive snaps (out of a possible 262), and he trails Matthews, Nick Perry and Reggie Gilbert by a wide margin in that area. But, his reps have steadily increased since Week 1. After Fackrell played just four snaps against Chicago in the season opener, he has played 13, 23 and 26 snaps the last three games.
The Packers hope the performance against the Bills is a sign of things to come for the 26-year-old. And to effectively pressure, or sack, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford would be a big step forward in that regard.
“He’s going to get the ball out quick, but I still think we’ll have our opportunities,” Fackrell said. “We have to continue to work and be ready for those opportunities when he does hold the ball.”
Adams yet to be worked in
Despite the fact defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson suffered a season-ending injury early in the game at Washington on Sept. 23, and the fact that the Packers haven’t signed another defensive lineman to the active roster, Montravius Adams still can’t get on the field.
The second-year defensive lineman out of Auburn has played a total of 18 snaps this season, and just five plays in each of the last two games — despite the lopsided scoreboards of each contest.
Kenny Clark has played 212 (80.9 percent), Mike Daniels 162 (61.8 percent) and Dean Lowry 93 (35.5 percent) through four weeks. Wilkerson had logged 115 snaps before his injury. As the weeks move on past Wilkerson’s injury, the club has been slow to sign another defensive lineman, yet also remains to reticent to fully incorporate Adams into the rotation.
“Montravius is progressing,” McCarthy said. “He’s a young player. Kind of lost last year a little bit with the injury and the time he missed, so in a lot of ways this is like an extension of his rookie season."