Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that he "hopes" wide receiver Randall Cobb doesn't play on special teams next season. In 2012, Cobb ranked ninth in the league with 964 kickoff return yards. He also had 292 yards and a touchdown on punts. But the bulk of his value came on offense where he caught 80 passes for 954 yards and eight touchdowns.
It's the really smart thing to do. Frankly, I'm not sure why any team places one of their best wide receivers on the field to return kicks and punts. The risk of injury is so much greater on those plays. I owned both Wes Welker and Antonio Brown last season, and I couldn't stand to watch them work on special teams. Cobb suffered knee and ankle injuries in Week 16 on a punt return. Yes, he is a very dangerous returner, but a few players on every team can be serviceable in that role, and Cobb is much more valuable to the Packers as a receiver. With Greg Jennings on his way out, Cobb has WR1 upside next season.