Randall Cobb expected worst from injury, takes ‘good news’ with return

GREEN BAY, Wis. — It won’t help the Packers this week, when they are short on receivers, but veteran Randall Cobb said Friday he expects to return in two to six weeks from the left ankle injury he initially feared was much worse.

“I felt something pop,” Cobb said. “And I thought, ‘This is the way it ends.’ It’s nice to have the good news and to know that I’ll be able to come back.”

An emotional Cobb was carted to the locker room with a towel over his head after he suffered the injury Sunday in the loss to the New York Jets. He said he has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain.

If the Packers believe Cobb’s injury is on the shorter end of that time frame, then he likely can avoid injured reserve. If they place him on IR, Cobb will have to miss at least four weeks.

The Packers (3-3) will be without not only Cobb on Sunday at Washington (2-4) but also fellow receiver Christian Watson, who will miss his second straight game because of a hamstring injury. That leaves Allen Lazard, Romeo Doubs, the seldom-used Amari Rodgers and the never-used Samori Toure as the only available receivers on the roster. Toure, a rookie seventh-round pick, has been inactive for every game this season.

Veteran receiver Sammy Watkins, who on Wednesday was designated for return from injured reserve, would have to be added to the 53-man roster by Saturday to play against the Commanders. Watkins has missed the past four games because of a hamstring injury. The Packers also have two practice squad receivers, Juwann Winfree and Travis Fulgham, who they could activate by Saturday.

While the Packers have had a different leading receiver in each of their six games, Cobb, 32, ranks second on the team in receiving yards (257) and fourth in receptions (18). He led the Packers with seven catches for 99 yards in the Week 5 loss to the New York Giants and had one catch for 8 yards before he was injured against the Jets.

This injury isn’t new to Cobb. He said he had the same thing in 2016, when he missed only two starts.

“I missed a couple weeks and then came back for the playoff game against the Giants, the Hail Mary game,” Cobb said, referring to the 42-yard touchdown pass he caught at the end of the first half. “Last time I came out of this, three touchdowns against the Giants in the playoff game, so we’ll see. Luckily it’s not as serious as what it could’ve been.”

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