The Green Bay Packers lost three starters during the first half of Saturday’s preseason loss to Philadelphia.
It appears the Packers dodged three bullets.
Pro Bowl receiver Randall Cobb was injured on the third play of the game. Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe landed on Cobb as Cobb tried to make a leaping catch from quarterback Brett Hundley. Cobb jogged off the field favoring his right arm and tried to work through the injury on the sideline.
After losing Jordy Nelson to a torn ACL in last week’s preseason loss at Pittsburgh, a serious injury to Cobb might have been the death knell to the season.
“It felt like a bad dream,” Cobb said.
Instead, there was a “silver lining.” Cobb wouldn’t say what exactly was wrong but he did say what it wasn’t: a collarbone.
“I just caught the ball and was going down to the ground and I had a guy land on top of me,” Cobb said. “I was just jogging off the field at the end of the series and I could feel the pain. I didn’t know exactly what it was. It was discomfort and I let Doc (McKenzie) check it out and we went back and got X-rays. It’s not what we think it could’ve been.”
Cobb wouldn’t say if he’d be OK for the Week 1 game at Chicago on Sept. 13.
“We’re taking it day by day right now,” Cobb said. “We’ll see come tomorrow what more we find out and we’ll go from there.”
Meanwhile, right tackle Bryan Bulaga sustained an ankle injury late in the first quarter and did not return and defensive back Micah Hyde exited with a neck injury about 5 minutes into the second quarter. Hyde was taken into the locker room on a cart but coach Mike McCarthy called it a “neck spasm.” McCarthy called more of a bruise than a sprain.
The Packers were one of the healthiest teams in the NFL last season. The team remained relatively healthy throughout the start of training camp, but Nelson is out for the season, four of the five offensive line starters are out and the team received major scares with Cobb and Hyde.
McCarthy, however, said the team can’t simply keep its key players on the sideline for what quarterback Aaron Rodgers last week called “meaningless” preseason games.
“I think we all have to be practical about this,” McCarthy said. “I think, No. 1, the health of your players is at the forefront of everything that you do in your program. Every decision is weighed with an amount of risk. The second and third preseason games, there's a lot of work that needs to be done. There’s a lot of moving parts, but you have to play. You have to play football. I think it's nonsense to think you can just go and not play your starters throughout preseason. It's not practical.”