Greg Jennings Injury: Packers Wideouts Who Will Emerge from Star's Absence

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVOctober 21, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 07:  Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers runs for a touchdown during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers might not benefit from the absence of star wide receiver Greg Jennings, but some of his teammates will as they'll see more targets and touches in the coming weeks.

Jennings has been bothered by a groin injury since the start of the season, and it has turned him from a fantasy stud into an irrelevant player this year. 

But as quarterback Aaron Rodgers starts to show his elite ability after a slow start to the season, it's obvious that some remaining receivers will help to pick up the slack and consequently turn into big-time fantasy impacts throughout the remainder of the year.

Let's take a look at some Packers wide receivers to keep an eye on, as their stocks will be rising significantly in the near future.


Randall Cobb

We all found out just how explosive second-year wide receiver Randall Cobb is last season when he tore it up as a rookie; though, many of his greatest impacts came on special teams.

But he's emerged as an offensive weapon this season, despite still growing as a receiver and going through some growing pains. He's ready to take on the extra load and has proved so in recent weeks.

There's nobody that will benefit more from Jennings' absence than Cobb, and his quarterback knows it. According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, Rodgers says that picking Cobb could go down as one of the best draft choices in general manager Ted Thompson's career, if not the best.

Cobb is second on the team in receiving with 346 yards, and his 35 targets are fourth on the squad.

Though he didn't catch a touchdown pass in the Packers' six-touchdown outburst against the Houston Texans, that shouldn't take away from his performance as he notched the first 100-yard receiving game of his young career. 

It surely won't be his last.


James Jones

Saying that James Jones "will" benefit from Jennings' absence may not be fair to say, because he already has benefited from it.

The stats prove it. Jones has notched 270 receiving yards on the season and an incredible seven touchdowns.

While Jennings was surely Rodgers' go-to guy the past few seasons, he was even more heavily relied on in the red zone and in touchdown situations. It's obvious that Rodgers needed another slippery target that could elude defenders to get open, while also possessing the catching skills to pull down big catches.

There was nobody better on this roster than Jones to help fill that void, and it's shown as Rodgers has put his trust in him and turned him into one of Green Bay's most dangerous targets. 


Tom Crabtree, TE

With a plethora of receivers, it's apparent that Green Bay's offense hasn't struggled too much to replace Jennings. But they could get help in the passing game from another position.

Many of the league's best passing teams (i.e. New England) have shown wonderful production from having two tight ends in their set. Tight end Tom Crabtree is emerging as an option to Rodgers, and he could get some more targets in the coming weeks.

He's only been thrown to six times this season, but he's hauled in five receptions for 111 yards. Crabtree has caught two passes for more than 20 yards this season while playing alongside top tight end Jermichael Finley, who is the team's fourth leading receiver.

I'm not saying Crabtree will turn into an elite pass-catcher, but his production is sure to increase throughout the rest of the season.


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