Greg Jennings has been the main wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for a few years now, but the team may have to experience life without him in just two days on Thursday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. After suffering a groin injury late in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Jennings missed practice on Tuesday, putting his status for Thursday’s game in serious doubt.
The Packers cannot afford to drop to 0-2 in the NFC North, especially in a division that includes playoff contenders such as the Bears and the Detroit Lions. In a very loaded NFC, the Packers need to defend their home turf at least once in the first two games if they plan on getting back to the postseason in 2012.
Not having Jennings will severely damper those plans.
It was the final drive that saw Jennings take himself out of the game when the Packers lost to the 49ers. Jennings, who finished that game with just 5 catches for 34 yards, was in visible pain after the game, and head coach Mike McCarthy said that Jennings “didn’t feel very good about it.”
“His workout and rehab went well,” McCarthy added. “Tomorrow will be the big day.” The Green Bay head coach also said that the injury is “probably more of an endurance issue.”
Still, many fantasy owners will not be able to roll the dice on Jennings starting, meaning they may have to look elsewhere for one of their starting wide receivers. This is one of the biggest problems for fantasy owners, having to make the hard decisions that much earlier than the rest of the games.
But depending on your waiver wire, you may not have to even look at another team if you do decide to remove Jennings from your lineup, regardless of whether or not you believe he will be healthy enough to play in just over 48 hours from now.
Jordy Nelson will move up to the No. 1 WR id Jennings misses any game time, but he was drafted already. Jermichael Finley may get more looks as well, but he is only tight end eligible. Donald Driver may see a few more snaps, but it is unlikely that he will produce enough numbers to make him a viable fantasy starting receiver.
That leaves us with second year potential break out candidate, Randall Cobb. The second year star from the University of Kentucky already saw an expanded role in the Packers’ first game, and could be even bigger against the Bears without Jennings. With 9 catches for 77 yards to lead the team against the 49ers, Cobb could be headed for a type of year similar to what Nelson experienced for the Packers in 2011.
If he can produce even half of those numbers that Nelson posted last season, Cobb will be a must-add in every fantasy football league and, if Jennings does miss Thursday night’s game, he could be considered a borderline No. 2 or No. 3 receiver, or at least becomes flex worthy.
Pick him up now and thank me later.