GREEN BAY, Wis. — Randall Cobb keeps finding the end zone for the Green Bay Packers. Soon enough, it could lead to a big payday.
The fourth-year receiver is in the last season of his rookie contract after being drafted in 2011. He loves Green Bay and shows no letup in proving he can be a playmaker catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.
Cobb, who has nine touchdowns in eight games to lead NFL receivers, said he doesn’t think about his contract status. The Packers don’t seem too worried, either.
“I guess we’ll have to wait and see,” Cobb said Thursday when asked whether he was setting himself up nicely for a future deal.
A few lockers away, fellow receiver Jordy Nelson let out a hearty laugh.
Nelson signed a $39 million, four-year extension on the first day of training camp in July. He has been worth every penny so far, with 50 catches for 737 yards and six touchdowns as Rodgers’ top target in Green Bay’s up-tempo attack.
Cobb has been nearly as productive with 40 catches and 578 yards. Always a threat in space, Cobb has also developed a knack for making plays in tight quarters in the red zone.
Rodgers said it’s all about finding the right matchups.
“Jordy and Randall have had a lot of targets go their way. They’ve been open a lot,” Rodgers said. “We’ve kind of manipulated some formations to try to get them in the … first or second spot as far as the progression goes.”
Cobb was especially hard on himself after Green Bay’s 19-7 loss on Sept. 21 at Detroit, which dropped the Packers to 1-2. He was held without a score on three catches for 29 yards.
He has been a regular in the end zone ever since, with six touchdowns in the last five games. He has 26 catches for 452 yards during that five-game stretch.
“He brings that blue-collar, workmanlike attitude when he goes out on the practice field and tries to make the most out of each and every opportunity,” receivers coach Edgar Bennett said. “The thing I really love about him also is the fact that ‘good’ is not enough. He wants to be great, and he works at it.”
Especially against Sunday’s opponent, the Chicago Bears. In his last three games against Green Bay’s division rival, Cobb has 15 catches for 283 yards and four touchdowns.
Cobb had seven grabs for 113 yards and two scores in a 38-17 win over the Bears in September. In the 2013 regular-season finale in Chicago, Cobb had two scoring receptions, including a memorable 48-yarder from Rodgers on fourth down with 38 seconds left to help Green Bay win 33-28 and take the NFC North title.
“I don’t know if we play at a higher level, but we have been more efficient here as of late against the Bears,” Cobb said.
But otherwise, no extra motivation against them — or at least that’s what Cobb is letting on.
“I mean, it’s another game for me,” Cobb said. “I just continue to try to play the best I can to help this team out any way I can.”
Keep up the production and the Packers figure to be rewarding Cobb handsomely.
NOTES: Starting guards Josh Sitton (toe) and T.J. Lang (ankle) missed practice again, though coach Mike McCarthy said he would feel very comfortable playing both veterans without practice time. Lang said he had some ligament and muscle damage, which made the injury more than a typical sprained left ankle. “That’s obviously something you have to think about, is weigh the options and not getting better for the rest of the season and be kind of that 60-70 percent, whatever it is, or just waiting a couple of weeks and being 80-90 percent,” Lang said. “That’d be my biggest fear is having a setback and missing a couple more weeks.”