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Can Packers Fill the Receiving Void with Randall Cobb Out?

For the Green Bay Packers, they’re like any NFL team and have been hit by the injury bug. But for them, this came in Week 6 in a 19-17 victory against the Baltimore Ravens. They lost top wide receiver Randall Cobb for numerous weeks thanks to a fractured fibula from a hit by Ravens safety Matt Elam.

Cobb was the team’s leader with 29 receptions; he is expected to be out from six to eight weeks.

In that same game, the Packers also saw receiver James Jones go down with a sprained posterior cruciate knee ligament.

The Packers are facing change for their offense and the next two men up are Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin, who entered the second half of the Ravens game to play. He had six targets (dropping two passes) and grabbed one reception for 43 yards.

For Nelson, the more experienced player, he leads the team for receiving yards (484). In the Ravens game, he had four catches for 113 yards, including a third quarter, 64-yard touchdown.

With this depleted receiver corp., the Packers re-signed rookie receiver Reggie Dunn to their practice squad last week.

In Sunday’s 31-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns, Boykin made his NFL starting debut and had a good game with eight receptions for 103 yards and one score–his first in the league from a 20-yarder during the fourth quarter.

Is he now the answer in Cobb’s absence?

Boykin said of Sunday’s play via Packers.com, “Once you get in that groove, you just feel invincible. Whenever I saw the ball coming my way, I just tried to do whatever I can to take advantage of the situation.”

He may see it coming his way as the Packers lost another offensive target on Sunday with tight end Jermichael Finley going down in the fourth quarter with a neck injury. He is currently in ICU and his status is unknown; he is  recovering. This is not Finley’s first injury as he suffered a concussion in Week 3.

With Boykin, it’s been a long road to success in the NFL.

Drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars last year, he was cut by them in May 2012 and received a contract from the Packers as a tryout player in 2013. He made the 53-man roster and contributed a vital fourth-down reception last season in Week 17 vs. division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. It didn’t end well and he missed the postseason with an ankle injury.

Boykin is a success story as he entered this season as the team’s No. 4 receiver. Until the Ravens game, he had played very little. His stock value has increased but it may be too early to say if he’s the answer in Cobb’s absence.

 

 

 

 

Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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