GREEN BAY – Jordy Nelson is out for the season, and Davante Adams left Monday night’s game after one series.
No matter. James Jones and Randall Cobb can handle it.
The Packers’ two veteran receivers did the bulk of the work for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay’s 38-28 victory over Kansas City at Lambeau Field.
They combined for 14 of Rodgers’ 24 completions, 230 of his 333 yards, and four of his five touchdown passes as the Packers continue to deal with injuries in the receiving corps.
Adams re-aggravated his bum ankle on the opening series of the game and didn’t return, which opened the door for rookie Ty Montgomery to get his first NFL TD reception for the Packers’ first points.
Then the vets took over.
Jones made his two biggest catches on free plays, which Rodgers takes advantage of so well. After the Chiefs jumped offside, Jones caught a 27-yard TD and had a 52-yard catch-and-run on his way to a seven-catch, 139-yard night, his third-highest single-game yardage total.
“I’m just trying to do my job, man,” Jones said. “The ball comes your way, make a play. That’s the name of the game and what I’ve been doing my whole career.”
Jones now has four TD receptions in three games this season after re-signing with the team one week before the opener. He said it took just “one day” for him to get back on the same page with Rodgers, and he became the first Green Bay player to catch a TD pass in each of the first three games of a season since TE Bubba Franks in 2001.
Meanwhile, Jones believes Cobb’s communication with the QB is at an all-time high, and it’s showing. Cobb added seven catches for 91 yards and his first career three-TD night, saying that he’s “starting to feel like myself a little bit again” in dealing with an ongoing shoulder injury.
“I’m mad he caught up to me,” Jones said jokingly of Cobb, who has matched Jones’ four TDs on the year now. Both players trail league leader Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona by one.
All three of Cobb’s TDs on Monday night came from inside the 5-yard line on a type of quick receiver screen that looks difficult to stop.
“Those weren’t easy touchdowns,” Jones said. “He had to drop his shoulder, break some tackles and get in there. We need it.”
More than anything, the Packers need to keep filling the voids whenever and wherever they pop up. So far, it’s kept the offense clicking on the way to 3-0, the team’s fastest start in four years.
“It’s a good place to be in, but you can’t slow down,” Cobb said. “You can’t get too comfortable.”
TD marks: Rodgers has now thrown five TD passes in a game four times in his career, breaking the previous franchise record of three held by Brett Favre.
Since 2010, Rodgers now has 15 games with at least four TD passes, second in the league to Drew Brees (16) in that time frame.
For this season, Rodgers has 10 TD passes without an interception. He’s just the second QB in league history to have at least 10 TD passes without an interception through the first three games of a season. The only other one to do it is Peyton Manning (12 TDs, 0 INTs in 2013).
Lots of firsts: In addition to Montgomery’s first NFL score, RB Alonzo Harris got his first pro carry (for 16 yards), and LBs Jayrone Elliott and Joe Thomas each recorded their first NFL sacks.
Injury update: Adams (ankle), TE Andrew Quarless (knee), LB Jake Ryan (hamstring) and DE Datone Jones (evaluated for concussion) were the injuries the Packers reported following the game.
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