Injury Updates: Cobb, Wilson, Waletzko, Leonard

The Packers and veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb were granted a silver-lining after hearing that what was feared to be a season-ending broken ankle was potentially a high ankle sprain that would require several weeks of recovery. The diagnosis of a high ankle sprain was confirmed, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, and Cobb told reporters that he “expects to return in two to six weeks,” a much more optimistic timeline than what was initially feared.

Green Bay had lost another veteran receiver when Sammy Watkins was placed on injured reserve back in September. Watkins was the team’s leading receiver at the time and now the Packers will lose their second-leading receiver as Cobb is being considered for an IR stint. With no Cobb and Watkins, and with rookie receiver Christian Watson also ailing, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has only Allen Lazard, Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers, and Samori Toure as targets out wide. Head coach Matt LaFleur did express some optimism that Watkins could be working his way towards a return soon, though.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the league:

  • After he suffered a hamstring injury in their game against the Chargers, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett announced that quarterback Russell Wilson will be a gametime decision this week against the Jets, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. The 11th-year veteran has struggled to lead Denver to the endzone this year but still represents the team’s best chance to win by far. If Wilson is unable to suit up this week, third-year backup Brett Rypien is the next name on the depth chart. Rypien has one start on his record from his rookie season. In his starting debut from 2020, Rypien led the Broncos to a win over the Jets, completing 19 of 31 attempted passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns while also throwing three interceptions.
  • The Cowboys lost rookie fifth-round pick Matt Waletzko after only three weeks as the backup offensive lineman’s lingering left shoulder issues continued to trouble him. Waletzko knew that surgery was an inevitable outcome but delayed the procedure in an attempt to become a contributor in his rookie season, but, after three subluxations, his first year will come to an end, according to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News. Waletzko had played in all of the team’s first three games, mostly serving on special teams units and earning one offensive snap in the team’s Week 3 win over the Giants. Dallas doesn’t have a ton of depth behind the starters on the offensive line, but backups Josh Ball, Jason Peters, and Matt Farniok provide some versatility that allow them to fill in most empty spots in the lineup.
  • Colts star linebacker Shaquille Leonard cleared concussion protocol today, according to Mike Chappell of FOX59/CBS4 Sports, but the team will still hold him out against the Titans this week. In addition to the concussion, Leonard is listed with a nose injury, which he recently had surgery on, according to Zak Keefer of The Athletic. Fourth-year linebacker E.J. Speed will continue to start in Leonard’s place as he works his way back to the field.
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