The Green Bay Packers almost certainly will have to turn more to a two-tight end offense while receiver Randall Cobb is out for at least eight weeks because of a broken fibula. The Packers on Tuesday placed Cobb on injured reserve-designated for return which means he can’t practice for at least six weeks and can’t play in a game for at least eight weeks. Much of the Packers’ passing game is built around Cobb’s playmaking so losing him for two months will force changes in their offense. On top of that receiver James Jones has a sprained knee that could sideline him short term though the Packers haven’t yet ruled him out from playing this week against Cleveland. But regardless of Jones’ status the Packers’ rejuvenated run game makes the two-tight end offense viable as a prominent package in coach Mike McCarthy’s game planning now that Cobb is out. The Packers signaled as much Tuesday when along with promoting receiver Myles White from their practice squad to their 53-man roster they did the same with tight end Jake Stoneburner. So for now they have three healthy receivers (Jordy Nelson Jarrett Boykin and White) and five tight ends (Jermichael Finley Andrew Quarless Ryan Taylor Brandon Bostick and Stoneburner). From the start of the season through the first half last week in Baltimore the Packers’ primary offensive set was three receivers one tight end and one running back. But with only two healthy receivers after Jones’ and Cobb’s first-half injuries McCarthy in the second half was forced to take an extended look at a two-tight end offense and the results while not spectacular must have intrigued him. McCarthy doesn’t consider the two-tight end group his best offensive set or he would have been using it more to begin with. But with the drop-off at receiver without Cobb which will be magnified if Jones misses a game or more the talent level of the remaining skill players points to more two-tight end sets. Most notably Lacy and Finley make it an attractive option because of the play-calling flexibility they allow McCarthy who has been a proponent of multiple-tight end formations in his eight years as Packers coach.
Multiple TE sets likely outcome of WR losses
Packers News | Oct 16