Randall Cobb plays “fearless.”
Always has. Always will.
And nothing will change as he gets ready to play the Bears on Sunday.
Cobb, the Green Bay Packers’ Pro Bowl receiver, said there is no doubt he will play on Sunday, despite pain from a shoulder sprain sustained against the Eagles on the third play of the third preseason game.
“I’ll be out there on the field Sunday,” Cobb said after Wednesday’s practice, his first since the injury. “I’m not letting my teammates down. I’m going to be out there for them. I’m going to be out there every play that I can.”
Cobb was listed as limited participation at Wednesday’s practice. He took some 11-on-11 reps while experimenting with ways to protect the shoulder while not further restricting his range of motion by wearing a harness or too much padding. To some extent, though, Cobb knows he’s going to have to fight through pain. After all, he said the pain initially bothered him when he was sleeping. Facing the Bears’ defense no doubt will be more difficult than lying on his mattress.
“I'm going to do my best to fall a certain way and fall the right way,” Cobb said. “But I can't help if a guy lands on top of me. I'm going to do everything I can to protect myself. But, no, I have to play fearless. I've always been a fearless player. That's part of it. I've got to know that I've got things I've got to deal with.”
And that means preparing for the potential of a Bears defender targeting the injury – legally or otherwise.
“I wouldn't say I have to play different, but you have to be prepared for things and cheap shots and different things like that,” he said.
“You know that's something I'll get a feel for early in the game. I'll see if they're targeting me or how they're coming at me, but I'm not going to worry about that. When I'm out there on the field, I've got to play football. I've got to do my job ... whatever it is I've got to deal with it, I've got to deal with it then.”
Cobb’s toughness impressed quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who himself faces a tough balancing act of getting the ball to his best playmaker in the passing game while trying to limit the number of hits he absorbs in looking out for the season-long best interests of Cobb and the team.
“It means he’s a Packer,” Rodgers said. “That’s how we do things. We lace it up, we put our bodies on the line for our team. It was a tough injury for him, especially playing three plays in a game that didn’t count in the win-loss column. But he’s done a good job with his rehab and we’re hopefully he’s going to be feeling better as the week progresses.”
Cobb’s injury would have a better chance of progressing had he decided to not play against Sunday. It wouldn’t have been a selfish decision, not with the Packers harboring Super Bowl aspirations and Cobb’s long-term health being in the obvious best interests of the team.
But that’s not Cobb’s mind-set. If there’s a game to be played, Cobb intends to play it. In his usual “fearless” manner.
“I’ve been around this league for a long time and I’ve seen guys play their last game,” Cobb said. “Injuries happen and careers are ended. I was on the field when Nick Collins got hurt, I was on the field when Jermichael (Finley) got hurt. I love this game, I’m going to go out and play this game as much, as long as I can. If I can be out there, I’m going to be out there.”