Damarious Randall's benching, injuries bring issues for Packers, even at 3-1

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- What should have been a restful weekend following Thursday night’s victory over the Chicago Bears might not be as relaxing as the Green Bay Packers would have hoped.

They have multiple issues to deal with even before they return to work next week to prepare for their Oct. 8 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

In addition to a slew of injuries that made the postgame mood following their 35-14 win feel like a bit of a downer, they have a major issue with 2015 first-round pick Damarious Randall. The third-year cornerback got benched to start the second half and then did not stick around on the sideline to see the end of the game.

The Packers wouldn’t say whether Randall left on his own or was told to leave; all they would say is he did not suffer an injury.

“It’s an internal matter and we’re working through it,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after the game.

Randall was not in the Packers’ locker room when it opened to reporters following the game.

The Packers pulled Randall after Bears receiver Kendall Wright caught a 5-yard touchdown pass with 8 seconds left in the first quarter. Quarterback Mike Glennon lofted the ball over Randall, who gestured as if he were expecting help in coverage from a teammate.

Second-year pro Josh Hawkins replaced Randall to start the third quarter. At that time, Randall was seated on the bench and injured cornerback Davon House was seen talking to him while the rest of the defensive players not in the game were standing on the sideline in case they were called upon to go into the game.

House said he was “just trying to make sure he kept his head on the game, that type of thing.”

“It’s all part of the game as a cornerback,” House said. “Deion [Sanders] got scored on. [Darrelle] Revis got scored on. Patrick Peterson gets scored on. It’s all part of the game.”

Still, it’s a bad look for Randall, who needed a bounce-back season after struggling through injuries and poor performance last season. Now he could face the possibility of getting suspended by the team or even released.

Between that and all the injuries – they lost receiver Davante Adams to a vicious helmet hit that sent him to the hospital, and even before that their top two running backs went down – it’s a good time for the Packers to regroup. They entered the game with a patchwork offensive line because their starting tackles both were inactive. It forced left guard Lane Taylor to play left tackle for the first time at any level and Lucas Patrick to make his first start at left guard, while Justin McCray (a guard by trade) made his second start at right tackle.

“Hopefully, we can get some guys back,” receiver Randall Cobb said. “We had a few guys go down, so it’s been a tough road for us so far.”

This hardly sounds like something typical of a 3-1 team.

“We’re 3-1; the downer part is when you see your teammates getting hurt,” said Aaron Rodgers, who threw four touchdown passes. “That’s tough. But there’s a lot to be proud of tonight with the way the offensive line battled, the defense dominated the line of scrimmage, four turnovers, and the way we executed in the red zone.”