Packers activate Randall Cobb

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Tyler Dunne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Sunday, December 29, 2013

GREEN BAY—Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday and will be available to play at Chicago on Sunday.

The team lists Cobb as questionable with a knee injury, but shortly after the team announced the activation, Cobb tweeted, “All Hands On Deck!!”

So there’s a good chance the Packers’ offense is as healthy as it’s been in months.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, running back Eddie Lacy and Cobb have played only two full games together, the last one Oct. 6 against Detroit.

Cobb has been on injured reserve with designation to return since suffering a fracture in his leg Oct. 13 at Baltimore. Tight end Jermichael Finley (neck) was lost for the season the next week. And two weeks after that, Rodgers fractured his collarbone. Along the way, Green Bay’s receiving corps has adjusted with Cobb rehabbing and recovering.

After running for three weeks, Cobb faced a final exam of sorts Friday. The Packers ran the dynamic 5-foot-10, 192-pound receiver through an exhaustive workout. He looked sharp during the short portion of practice open to reporters. Cobb cut in and out of routes quickly.

Green Bay wanted to see how Cobb would respond Saturday. Apparently, he responded well.

Through 4 games before the injury, Cobb had 29 receptions for 378 yards and two touchdowns with another 78 yards rushing. His 67-yard burst against Detroit sparked a win.

“The push has really come the last two weeks for Randall Cobb,” coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. “You can see he was coming on strong. I thought he did some good things last week, but he wasn’t ready. So he’s fighting through the soreness and things you would expect coming back from the seriousness of his injury. But he looks good.”

Without Cobb, Green Bay has often been using James Jones and Jarrett Boykin wide with Jordy Nelson inside. Now, McCarthy may have more options.

Cobb said earlier in the week that Tuesday and Wednesday marked the first time he was able to cut and not think about it.

“So that’s definitely progress and confidence to me in my knee,” Cobb said. “So I think that’s very important for the next step….This week in practice, I’m preparing to play.”

Cobb added that this past week he prepared as part of the game plan.

The Packers offense against the Bears should look much different from the one Green Bay has had the last two months.

“Randall Cobb’s a playmaker,” McCarthy said last week. “He’s dangerous with the ball in his hands. He’s done an excellent job developing into a fine slot receiver. So our offense is based on making a quarterback successful, starting with the run game and then spreading the ball around. He definitely is someone you want to get the ball to.

“You can see the way he was able to get on the same page as Aaron right away as a rookie. So just the way he plays, you’d think he was a guy in his sixth or seventh year. Football comes very natural to him.”

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