Packers will wait to see how Cobb feels
Green Bay — Randall Cobb was a late addition to the Green Bay Packers’ injury report last week, appearing as a limited participant after Thursday’s practice and the club estimated he would not have practiced Friday.
Considered questionable to play Sunday against Buffalo with a hamstring injury, Cobb was inactive. On Monday he revealed that the decision wasn’t made as a precautionary measure.
“I wouldn’t have been able to play this week,” he said. “As much as I would’ve wanted to, I couldn’t be out there running at full speed. So it’s no reason to take that risk.”
Cobb said the hamstring has improved the last few days, but a more definitive evaluation will come midweek.
“Hopefully we’ll see where he is on Wednesday, see how he moves around,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
Entering Sunday’s game, Cobb was second on the team in receptions (17) and yards per catch (11.5) and third in yards.
Rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling started in Cobb’s place, but had just one catch on three targets.
“We’re very close,” Cobb said. “Watching the film, we are really close. We’re doing some really good things on film. We just gotta put the whole package together. We had some opportunities we missed on.
“I thought receivers ran some great routes. Aaron (Rodgers) made some great throws. We gotta collectively do a better job, all together.”
Moore ready for more
While Valdes-Scantling earned his first start Sunday, fourth-round pick
J’Mon Moore was active for the first time in the regular season, and he saw the field for 11 snaps against the Bills.
“Practices have been going well,” Moore said. “I’m just having to get their trust in that playbook. That’s where I’ve struggled at. I’ve not really been too detailed in some of the stuff; how they like things done. So it kind of slowed me down with getting on the field. You gotta know what you’re doing first before you get out there.
“I’ve been able to prove to them that I know what I’m doing and I saw the field a little bit this week. I got a couple plays out there. It’s a process. I trust the process, trust the struggle, and I’ll be out there.”
Through the first three weeks, Valdes-Scantling has been active every week and sixth-round pick Equanime
ous St. Brown was active against Chicago and again Sunday.
Moore had multiple opportunities in training camp to earn a role within the offense, and he finished the preseason with nine receptions of 17 targets for 102 yards. But, he feels he has made strides since.
And with Cobb nursing a hamstring injury and Geronimo Allison in concussion protocol to start the week, Moore might see an increased role in Detroit.
“Shoot, if you ask me, my number should be getting called a little bit more than what it is,” Moore said. “But it is what it is. I plan on making the best out of every opportunity I can get, so I can show these people here what’s up. I just feel like it should be getting called. But, you know, if I get chance, I gotta prove that. And it will be. That’s how I feel about it. Those two are good players, they’ll be fine and they’re going to rehab and do what it is they got to do to be on the field but I mean, when I get my shot, when they give me my chance, I’m definitely going to do what I gotta do.”
Brown savors debut
On Saturday, Tony Brown was promoted off the practice squad to the Packers’ 53-man roster when the club placed defensive lineman Muhammed
Wilkerson on injured reserve. On Sunday, he made his NFL debut as a member of the active 46.
The rookie out of Alabama played three defensive snaps at the end of the game and played 12 on special teams, and he took it all in.
“It’s beautiful out here,” Brown said. “I’m blessed to come to an organization like Green Bay, who has the best fans in the country.”
Brown has been on the practice squad since Sept. 3, signing after the final roster cut downs. He had gone undrafted out of Alabama and spent all of training camp with the Los Angeles Chargers before being cut Sept. 1.
The 6-foot, 199-pound corner ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. He had 51 tackles, seven passes defensed and three interceptions in three seasons for the Crimson Tide, but was a special teams stalwart for Nick Saban’s team.
“Leading up to the game, it didn’t really register,” Brown said of his debut. “When I was out there, when I was actually on the field at Lambeau, I seen the fans and the uniform. Just now, I’m feeling it now. I called my mom. I get to keep my first jersey and uniform from my first NFL game. Man, it’s a huge blessing. I’m not going to let them take me off there.”
Martinez realizes he lost his cool
Blake Martinez thought he forced a turnover, but after taking some body blows, hands to his face and some name-calling, the third-year linebacker lost his cool.
With just over two minutes to go in the first half, Martinez and a pile of players surrounded Bills quarterback Josh
Allen at his own 26-yard line after he scrambled.
As the pile moved, Martinez wrestled the ball away. He insisted he never
heard a whistle to indicate Allen’s forward progress had stopped.
When everyone untangled, Martinez removed his helmet and began yelling and he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and extended the Bills' drive.
“Basically when Clay ( Matthews) hit him I got in there, stripped the ball out and had the ball for probably five seconds during that tackle and I was trying to get out of the pile,” Martinez recalled. “The next thing you know, I’m getting jabbed on my sides and I’m getting my helmet pulled and all of a sudden I get out and my helmet is up here.
"Normally, if I wasn’t mad, I’d just take my helmet off, fix it, put it back on. But obviously I was mad in that sense and names were being called. Things were being said. I don’t want to repeat them. I pulled my helmet off extremely energetic, to say the least. It happened. At that point, I knew what I did wrong and obviously I won’t allow that to happen again.”
As all that was happening, cornerback Jaire Alexander pushed Allen to the ground.
“He said something to me,” Alexander said. “And then he’s going to give me an elbow. I was like, oh nah. Quarterback? I don’t care. So I had to do what I had to do. He did a good acting job. He sold it. But at the end of the day he was on the ground, so that’s all I care about.”
Alexander left the game early with a groin injury, but he could be seen sprinting out onto the field to celebrate with teammates after they made stops and he jogged back into the locker room.
“I’m feeling fine,” Alexander said. “I’ll be better by the time we practice for sure. Just taking precautionary measures.”
Allison took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Buffalo corner Taron Johnson near the end of the third quarter. He was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion.
The Packers found the perfect treatment for their ailing pass rush: playing a rookie quarterback at home.
Not just any rookie quarterback, either. A rookie that has been sacked repeatedly through the season’s first four games. The Packers sacked Allen seven times Sunday, which sounds like a lot.
Until you see the Chargers sacked Allen five times two weeks ago. And the Vikings sacked Allen three times last week – without Everson Griffen. Even though he didn't start in the Bills' opener vs. the Ravens, Allen was sacked three times on 15 pass attempts.
Still, seven sacks is significant. The Packers had six sacks in their first three games. Only four NFL teams had fewer.
Most surprising, backup outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell had a career- high three sacks.
Fackrell, a third-round pick in 2016, had three sacks all last season. Before Sunday, he had five sacks in his career. Afterward, Fackrell tried to recall the last time he had three sacks in a game.
“Shoot,” he said, “maybe never. Yeah, it helps at the end there when you know they’re going to pass and you can kind of just tee off.”
Jermaine Whitehead had one sack – and almost another – while unblocked blitzing from the slot. It wasn’t a sack, but inside linebacker Antonio Morri
son hit Allen as he passed downfield to running back LeSean McCoy, who was single covered on the perimeter by Martinez. Then there was Matthews. After having a sack wiped out because of a questionable roughing-the-passer pen- alty last week, Matthews combined with Nick Perry for a half sack. This time, there was no flag.
Price stays put
Before the game against the Bills, the Packers attempted to sign defensive tackle Brian Price away from the Cleveland practice squad last Tuesday. According to a league source, the Packers wanted to add Price to their 53-man roster but he elected to stay in Cleveland. To keep him, the Browns agreed to pay Price the prorated league minimum while keeping him on the practice squad. Price came into the NFL in 2016 when the Packers signed him as an undrafted free agent out of University of Texas-San Antonio.
Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb said he could not run at full speed last week so there was no reason to try to play.
Packers linebacker Blake Martinez is held back by teammate Kenny Clark after a scuffle that resulted in a penalty for Martinez.