GREEN BAY, Wis. – Randall Cobb returned to the Green Bay Packers to reunite with Aaron Rodgers and win his first Super Bowl.
When the playoffs begin on Saturday night, Cobb will be back on the field.
The Packers activated Cobb from injured reserve on Thursday, about seven weeks after surgery to mend the core-muscle injury sustained on Nov. 28 against the Rams.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett called Cobb’s comeback “unbelievable” and “amazing.” Cobb was less impressed.
“I’m not going to be overzealous about my situation,” he said on Thursday, two days before a divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. “This is easy. I didn’t have a real injury. I mean, I had a real injury, I had core surgery, bouncing back, but there’s people out there going through real-life things. Single mothers trying to raise two kids.
“What I did to get back Is not a big deal. I’m coming back to play a football game. I did everything in my will to will myself back. I did everything I could to will myself back for these playoffs. My injury, they said six to eight weeks and I think I was ready in four-and-a-half, five. I could have played at five weeks [at Detroit in the finale], but obviously having a little extra time with us having a bye was huge for my recovery.”
Cobb, a second-round pick in 2011 who spent 2019 in Dallas and 2020 in Houston, was acquired at Rodgers’ urging before the start of training camp. The 31-year-old hasn’t always been productive but he’s been productive when needed. When Pittsburgh had some success limiting Davante Adams, Cobb scored two touchdowns. When Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling were inactive at Arizona, Cobb scored two touchdowns. And he had a dominant first half before suffering the injury late in the first half of a key game against the Rams.
In a dozen games, Cobb caught 28 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns – his most times in the end zone since scoring six times in 2015. He had only one drop and averaged 5.3 yards after the catch.
“It’s unbelievable, first and foremost. Such a credit to Randall,” offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said on Wednesday. “What he’s done to get back to this level to be able to play in this playoff game is amazing. So, much credit to him [with] all the work that he’s put in to get to this point. Any time you got a guy out there like this, another smart, smart player that understands the game, and it’s kind of a security blanket for Aaron to have another guy out there that he’s thrown a lot of footballs to and had a lot of success.”
Cobb’s return will give the Packers a natural threat in the slot and help offset the potential absence of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who is doubtful with a back injury.
With Adams, Lazard and Cobb, Rodgers will have three reliable and trusted options in which to attack the 49ers with a trip to the NFC Championship Game on the line.
“In the end, how does the quarterback feel? You’ve always got to make sure the quarterback’s good and he’s got an understanding that everybody’s going to be in the right spot at the right time,” Hackett said. “When you put Randall out there, you know he’s going to be in the right spot at the right time. He’s going to be able to make plays and, when things get crazy or something unique happen, that he’s going to be able to adjust to that. So, I think just that kind of presence out there is great for Aaron and just his overall leadership, just how he is in the meetings rooms, his knowledge, his intelligence, they’re all such great things. It’s been such a great year having him here.”