Randall Cobb can’t prove it, but he believes wearing a microphone during the Green Bay Packers’ playoff game at Arizona led to the punctured lung that knocked him out of the season-ending defeat.
“I’ll never be mic’d up again,” Cobb said following Thursday’s organized team activity.
During the first quarter of the game against the Cardinals, Cobb made a leaping catch in which he landed on his back. A penalty eliminated the 49-yard gain and the hard fall sent Cobb to a hospital, where he stayed overnight before flying back to Green Bay the next day.
“I’ve never had a problem with it before,” Cobb said. “Possibly, it was just the way I landed. I landed flush on my back with the battery pack on. You probably won’t land too often like that but unfortunately the one time I did, I had a bad injury from it.”
Cobb is back and practicing after an eventful offseason. He became engaged and graduated from the University of Kentucky, where he spent three seasons before entering the draft and being selected by the Packers in the second round in 2010. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers attended the ceremony.
“It was really cool,” Cobb said. “Everybody looks at him as ‘Aaron Rodgers the quarterback,’ but he’s one of my closest friends. To have him there in support was amazing. We had a great time.”
Cobb said he was 32 credits short of getting his degree in community leadership and development in the college of agriculture, food and environment when he left for the NFL.
“I’ve been working on it for five years,” Cobb said. “I just got so close these last couple years that I just wanted to finish it as soon as I could. I thought the older I get, the more I wouldn’t want to go back. It’s something that I’m glad that I did and something that, moving forward, I’m hoping I can get my MBA in the next five or seven years.”
Cobb’s not sure what he ultimately intends to do with his degree. “I’m kind of focusing on what I’m doing now,” he said. Part of that focus is on rebounding from a subpar season. After piling up 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014, Cobb caught 79 passes for 829 yards in 2015. Three of his six touchdowns came in a Week 3 victory over Kansas City, and his 10.5-yard average was the worst of his career.
Cobb sustained a shoulder injury in the preseason, which limited him throughout the early stages of the season. Plus, Jordy Nelson’s season-long absence due to a torn ACL put the defensive bull’s-eye on Cobb. He was unable to pick up the slack as Green Bay scored a touchdown less per game.
“I’m really excited about this year,” Cobb said. “Yeah, there was a lot of things going on last year but none of that stuff matters. I didn’t perform at the capacity that I know I can perform at. At the end of the day, nobody cares about what you had going on. Did you play well or did you not? I’m the only one who can change that.”
One thing that’s not going to change is Cobb’s mind about wearing microphones during a game. While it’s “cool” to look back and hear the conversations that take place during a game, he said it’s not worth the risk. So, if NFL Films asks him again to wear a microphone, Cobb’s mind is set.
“Never,” he said. “Not a question.”