GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers let it be known Sunday that he would prefer Randall Cobb stick to making big plays on offense — and offense only.
“He’s a big-time player. Hope we can get him off special teams soon,” the quarterback said following the Packers’ 55-7 rout of Tennessee at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers’ comments came after the versatile playmaker set Green Bay’s single-season record for all-purpose yards but sustained an injury to his right ankle later in the game while returning a punt.
Cobb didn’t return to the game after sustaining the injury in the third quarter.
Head coach Mike McCarthy held his day-after-game news conference Monday morning, so he didn’t have a full update on Cobb’s condition.
“The medical staff does not have high concern,” McCarthy said. “Randall’s so positive, so he doesn’t seem very concerned. But, you go through the process and scans and so forth and make sure we get all the information.”
While it’s too soon to know whether Cobb will be available for Green Bay’s regular-season finale at rival Minnesota on Sunday, McCarthy made his plan known for how involved he will have Cobb be the next time he plays. The Packers (11-4) are in the playoffs as NFC North champions and currently hold the No. 2 seed in the conference, which would merit a first-round bye if they keep their position.
McCarthy doesn’t hold the same opinion as Rodgers when it comes to Cobb in his dual role even after his game-ending injury.
“I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have a really high tolerance for this because I don’t understand how you play scared in the game of football,” said McCarthy, when asked about taking Cobb off returns. “I don’t get that. I think it’s convenient questioning. I understand the risk involved in every single play. Some plays are higher risk than others, and I’m fully aware of that. But, you can’t sit here and say special teams is important if you don’t put a guy like Randall Cobb out there as a returner.
“Now, if we’re sitting here next year, we might be having a different conversation. But, the way our team is built for 2012, Randall Cobb is a huge part of our success on special teams.”
Cobb, a second-year player, has been Green Bay’s biggest playmaker on offense this season as the Packers have weathered extensive injury-related absences to starters Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. Cobb leads the team in catches (80) and receiving yards (954) and ranks second in touchdown receptions (eight).
He had three catches for 62 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown, before leaving Sunday’s game.
Cobb is averaging 9.4 yards on punt returns with a 75-yard touchdown this season and has an average of 25.4 yards on kickoff returns.
“Randall Cobb is a big part of our success on special teams,” McCarthy said. “Our special teams has been our most consistent unit of our football team from Week 1 to Week 15. You don’t establish the way you play, the vision of the way you play, and then all of a sudden change going into the last week of the season.
“We’ll see what happens here with Randall, and we’ll evaluate his injury, and then we’ll make decisions as we go forward. The philosophy of him playing on special teams has not changed.”