How Can the Green Bay Packers Make Up for Loss of Randall Cobb?

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIOctober 13, 2013

How will the Packers make up for the loss of Randall Cobb?
How will the Packers make up for the loss of Randall Cobb?Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have been ravaged by injuries this year, but none may be as big as the injury to Randall Cobb in Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Cobb eventually made his way back to the field, but it was in the worst possible way as Aditi Kinkhabwala of reported:

With James Jones already out earlier in the game to a leg injury, Cobb's injury put the Packers in an extremely difficult position. While the severity of Cobb's injury is still unknown, it was easy to see from the play that this wasn't an injury that would keep Cobb out for only a few days.

So, what can the Packers do to make up for the loss of one of their premier playmakers? Let's take a look.


They Need to Sign a Receiver

Even if Jones returns next week against the Cleveland Browns, the Packers will still be thin at wide receiver. They were already ridiculously thin before these injuries, as they only had four active receivers on the roster.

As of right now, the only healthy receivers are Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin. The Packers could look at bringing rookie Myles White up from the practice squad. However, that would leave them with two extremely inexperienced receivers to pair up with Nelson.

The Packers' best option to make up for the loss of Cobb is to bring in a veteran through free agency or a trade to bolster the position. Some free agents that could potentially come in and make a splash are Brandon Lloyd, Steve Breaston or Laurent Robinson.

The reason these players make sense is they won't have to be the first or second option for the Packers. They can step in right away with their experience and become an instant role player for Green Bay.

As far as trade options go, the best one might be to pursue Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little. While Little's teammate Josh Gordon certainly has more talent, the Packers don't need an elite receiver, and Cleveland might be more willing to part with Little.

Whether the Packers sign a receiver or trade for one, they need to do it quickly.


Play to the Strengths of Their Current Receivers

Once the Packers add some depth to their receiving corps, the key from here on out will be to play to the strengths of their receivers.

The perfect example of this is how the Packers used Boykin when he entered the game. Aaron Rodgers continuously tried to get the ball in his hands through comebacks, slants and other patterns. However, the attempts were all unsuccessful.

Where Rodgers and Boykin did have success was on a screen pass that Boykin turned into a decent gain. This was playing to Boykin's strengths as an inexperienced wide receiver. They got him the ball in space and let him do the rest.

That's what they'll have to do from here on out with their current group of receivers. They can't force these guys to do things they're uncomfortable with, especially their younger guys.

With Cobb, the Packers could run a much more complex offense. Now, they'll need to simplify things and play to the strengths of their current receivers in order to make up for the loss of Cobb's abilities.


Run the Ball More

Finally, the Packers can effectively replace Cobb's production through the run game. As crazy as that sounds, it might actually be the best option for the Pack.

Green Bay has had a 100-yard rusher in three of their last four games (it was almost four-straight games, but Eddie Lacy came up one-yard short in Week 5). The ground game is becoming a strength for the Packers rather quickly, and they need to continue to pound the ball on the ground to take pressure off the passing game.

Look for Lacy and fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin to become even bigger parts of this offense with Cobb out.

While losing Cobb for potentially a long time could really hurt this offense, the Packers should be able to weather the storm if they can follow these three steps.