The Packers have been dealing with wide receiver injuries all season long. How does the return of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson impact things?
The 49ers and Packers released their Thursday practice participation reports late yesterday, and it should surprise nobody that the 49ers report is the same as yesterday. The 49ers do mix it up on occasion, but for the most part, their injury reports don't get particularly exciting.
The Packers did have some changes to their report. A day after sitting out practice, Randall Cobb (illness) and Jordy Nelson (ankle) were both limited at practice. The Packers have been getting their receivers healthier and healthier, so this is a solid step forward for them. In last week's game, James Jones led in snaps with 65 (of 67 total offensive snaps), Greg Jennings was second with 49, Randall Cobb was third with 38 and Jordy Nelson finished with 19.
For comparison's sake, in Week 1, Jordy Nelson led the way with 65 (of 68 total offensive snaps), Greg Jennings had 63, James Jones had 58 and Randall Cobb had 35.
The Packers went with a lot of three and four receiver sets in that game in part because they can do that effectively, but in large part because they fell behind and had a lot of ground to make up. I think we'll see plenty of four receiver sets, but I think this game will be closer, resulting in a bit more playing time for Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman together. In the opener, the 49ers went with so much dime that Perrish Cox ended up with more snaps than Patrick Willis. I don't expect quite the same substitution patterns this time around.
Limited participation: CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), S Dashon Goldson (shoulder), LB Clark Haggans (shoulder), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), DT Justin Smith(elbow, triceps), DT Will Tukuafu (neck)
Out (Definitely will not play): DE Jerel Worthy (knee)
Did not participate: WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle)