GLENDALE, Ariz. – Randall Cobb put a charge into the Green Bay Packers offense with a one-handed circus catch in the first quarter, but it came with a heavy price.
For one, the catch didn’t count. As remarkable as it was — highlight were spread all over social media — offsetting penalties wiped out the play. Of course, the play still happened anyway, and the residual left a major impact on the game.
Cobb was carted to the locker room and did not return. He was diagnosed with a bruised lung and spent Saturday night in a Phoenix hospital. Early Sunday afternoon, Cobb tweeted he is doing all right.
With Cobb out, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was forced to play the final three quarters without the top four receivers on the depth chart when the season started. Jordy Nelson (knee) and rookie Ty Montgomery (ankle) were placed on injured reserve. Davante Adams was inactive after spraining his knee last week in the Packers’ wild-card game at Washington.
That left the Packers with just three receivers on their 46-man game-day roster: James Jones, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis. Abbrederis and Janis played minimally this season, but both became big reasons the Packers were able to stay competitive against a team that blew them out by 30 points three weeks prior.
Janis, especially, had a career night. He caught seven passes on 11 targets with 145 yards and two touchdowns. The first touchdown gave the Packers their first lead at 13-7 in the third quarter. The second came on a 41-yard Hail Mary that sent the game into overtime. Rodgers had a 146.8 passer rating when targeting Janis, according to Pro Football Focus.
Abbrederis was expected to play a bigger role entering Saturday because of Adams’ injury. While he didn’t have Janis’ night, he had his moments with four catches and 55 yards.
“That’s just how it is,” Abbrederis said. “If somebody goes down, you have to step up and try to replace a guy, but Cobb is obviously tough (to replace). You just have to do your best. You can't try to be somebody that you're not. You just have to try to be who you are and do what you do good.”
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