Sidelines with John Clay

Randall Cobb the subject of several off-season questions in Green Bay

Former UK standout Randall Cobb is preparing for his eighth season in the NFL. He is entering the final season of a four-year contract with the Green Bay Packers.
Former UK standout Randall Cobb is preparing for his eighth season in the NFL. He is entering the final season of a four-year contract with the Green Bay Packers. Associated Press

With the start of NFL training camps a month away, it has been quite the off-season for former Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb.

The 27-year-old wide receiver was recently seen wearing a boot on his right ankle. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cobb declined to reveal specifics about the apparent injury or if he had undergone surgery.

It’s not known if Cobb will be ready for the opening of Green Bay’s camp on July 26, though there is no reason to believe he would be unavailable for the Packers’ Sept. 9 opener against Chicago.

Now Rob Demovsky of ESPN asks the question: Is Cobb an old 27 or a young eight-year veteran?

“He's missed only four games combined the past two seasons, but he's also played hurt throughout,” Demovsky writes. “That's to his credit, although his production has slipped. Yet at times, there have been moments of brilliance; he caught three touchdowns in the 2016 playoff win over the Giants after he missed the last two weeks of the regular season because of an ankle injury.”

Cobb, who caught 63 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns last season, is entering the final season of a four-year, $40 million contract. With veteran Jordy Nelson having moved on to Oakland, Cobb is expected to team with Davante Adams as the top targets for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Adams signed a four-year, $58 million extension last season with the Packers.

[Tennessee columnist ponders what if Randall Cobb had gone Big Orange]

The Packers also signed tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught 85-or-more passes for four straight seasons (2011-14) with New Orleans before being dealt to Seattle. Graham caught 170 passes in three years with the Seahawks.

Still, the Packers are counting on Cobb.

"Those future questions, you never know what's going to come down,” said Packers GM Brian Gutekunst of Cobb, according to the Journal Sentinel. “You just don't know how those things are going to play out. But he's a guy that we're counting on for the upcoming season. He's a young, really good player who has been a good player in the past, and I haven't seen any decrease in his play over the last few years."

Cobb caught a career-high 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014. Over the past three years, Cobb has caught 79, 60 and 66 passes. He has a combined 14 touchdown catches over the past three seasons. His 66 catches last season came with Rodgers sidelined for nine games by an injury.

“He’s obviously a great friend of mine,” Rodgers told ESPN, “but I look for a resurgence from him this year as long as he can stay healthy.”

Randall Cobb year-by-year in the NFL

SeasonRecYdsAvgTD
201125375151
20128095411.98
201331433144
2014911,28714.112
20157982910.56
20166061010.24
2017666539.94

Former University of Kentucky star Randall Cobb, who was unable to attend Friday's ceremony, was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame.

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