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Is It Really About Injuries for Damarious Randall?

Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall has been bad in 2016. That’s well documented.

That culminated with his benching two weeks ago against Chicago. There were plenty of other lowlights, though. There was Randall giving up a large chuck of Stefon Diggs’ career high 182 yards in week 2. There was Randall giving up a large chunk of Marvin Jones’ career high 202 yards in week 3. There was Randall getting trucked by some jerk named Joshua Bellamy on his way to a score in week 15, the same week he got benched.

It’s been an embarrassing year for a guy who was supposed to develop into a No. 1 corner, to say the least.

It has also been an injury-riddled season for Randall.

Randall missed six games earlier in the season because of a groin injury. He was clearly rushed back for Dallas after sitting out week 5. Randall wasn’t ready and made his groin injury worse. In reality, he should have missed seven games or, if he hadn’t been rushed back in week 6, perhaps he would have missed fewer. Randall left that Cowboys game after just a brief appearance.

Now Randall apparently has a shoulder injury. The Packers say he injured it against Chicago in week 15, which is, coincidentally, also when he got benched.

Randall played in week 16, but only after starting corner LaDarius Gunter injured his elbow. He’s been listed on the injury report this week — like he has been for the past several weeks, but he’s been a full participant in practice.

So is it possible injuries are really the culprit for Randall’s disappointing season?

Anything is possible, isn’t it?

Despite his injuries, Randall still leads the Packers’ corners with three picks. Unfortunately, that isn’t saying much.

Sam Shields only played in two games before hitting injured reserve. Gunter is the slowest cornerback on the roster and because he has to win matchups with physicality and technique rather than athletic ability or speed, he’ll likely never have many picks. Quinten Rollins, who has had nearly as bad of a second season as Randall, has just a single pick.

Also, consider Randall had two of his interceptions in the same game — against Seattle in week 14, when Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ receivers were putting on a turnover clinic.

Randall’s late second quarter interception — where he flew across the field to rob Doug Baldwin of a touchdown — in that game may be his lone highlight this season.

It’s possible injuries have played a role. It’s also possible the Green Bay Packers are trying to protect Randall’s seemingly fragile confidence by giving him a ready-made excuse.

They have invested a first-round pick in him, after all. It isn’t like we’re talking about an undrafted free agent who can easily be pared from the roster at some point.

The Packers need Damarious Randall with his confidence intact and his head on straight. More importantly, they need him playing solid fundamental football.

Whatever excuse they or he’d like to use, they simply haven’t been getting that from Randall this season. That makes both the near and long-term future for the Packers’ secondary a cloudy one.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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7 Comments

  1. MMTTDCSUCK December 29, 2016

    Damarious Randall may be the one to blame, but TT “The Frugal GM” is the one that drafted him. Call that douchebag out, many of his first rounders’ are questionable to say the least (save Rodgers). This is his choice, Randall just came to the team that selected him . . .

  2. Louis Pistoni December 29, 2016

    The Packers need to do two things. First, see if Sam Shields is going to be Ok to resume his career. I believe Sam is a decent to fairly high level cornerback. IF he can come back that would be great. Second, and perhaps most important, draft a REAL cornerback and not a former Safety(Randall) or ex basketball player(Rollins). The Packers and TT think they can draft these guys with potential aqnd then have them be “coached up” by Joe Whitt, who is a great coach. However, even Joe Whitt can only do so much. By the way, Demitri Goodson is a former basketball player. has he become a great corner?

    1. PF4L December 29, 2016

      I would assume by this point the Packers know everything they need to know about Shields and already decided what they plan to do with him.

  3. Kato December 29, 2016

    I love excuses.

  4. Remedy December 29, 2016

    The guy is soft. It’s what he is. He makes great plays due to athletic ability but I’ve never seen him get his hands dirty. He’s always the softest guy on the field for the defense

    Davante’s got the same problem. When the play angry and confident, they light it up. Otherwise they look like a huge weaknesses

    1. Joe December 29, 2016

      I think Adams grew up a lot this year and I haven’t noticed soft play. He fights hard for and is good at YAC. Randall, yeah, he is soft. He lays off receivers near the end, he doesn’t get his head turned around or challenge for the ball, and that as much as anything is why he’s giving up big, big plays. Well, I hope it’s the injury. Fix the secondary and this is a great team.

  5. Joe December 29, 2016

    Hopefully it’s a sophomore jinx. And I agree he plays soft. But I don’t think Shields is coming back, if he’s smart. Rollins is also going through a sophomore slump. It all adds up to the Pack desperately needing secondary help this offseason. I don’t know who’s available in FA, not that it matters with TT. They may have to go back to the draft. They need a CB and a RB. They should be able to get that done if rounds 1 and 2. And hopefully Randall’s performance is due to injury. But he’s gotta stop whining like a …… baby.