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Mailbag: Backup Plan Behind Randall Cobb?


You guys have talked a lot about how much you think Randall Cobb can and will help this team this year. My concern is his health. Cole Beasley never missed games, and while he isn't as talented as Cobb, he was more reliable in terms of counting on him to stay on the field. If Cobb misses time next year (and based on recent history, you can almost expect that), what is the backup plan in the slot? - AUSTIN D

Bryan: I initially thought that Allen Hurns was going to be the guy that this coaching staff was going to lean on in case there was an injury to one of the receivers. He had played all the positions throughout his career but since he was released that focus shifts to another area. That means that guys like Tavon Austin, Lance Lenoir and one of these undrafted rookies now have a shot whereas before I didn't feel that was the case.

Rob: Cobb did miss seven games in 2018 and last played a full season in 2015. For what it's worth, last year's hamstring injury is no longer an issue. If he were to miss any time this season, Tavon Austin can play the slot, but he'll be in competition for a roster spot. Amari Cooper also played inside some last year.

(Editor's Note: The writers updated their answers after Tuesday's report that Allen Hurns is expecting to be released.)**-Click HERE to read**

My biggest worry for this team is the defensive end position. I have read multiple times this offseason how loaded this position is, and how tough the competition to make the roster will be. However, with so many one-year deals and possible suspensions/reinstatements, could the position quickly become depleted after this year, and the newcomers that could have been great/solid long-term fits have been cut and moved on to other teams? The temptation is to play for now, but would a long-term vision be wiser? Thank you! - JEHANNE DARC / BETHESDA, MD

Bryan: I trust this pro department to find the right guys to supplement for the guys they drafted. I have no problems doing it this way. Adding Robert Quinn was the absolute right move even if it's just for one season. What needs to happen is Taco Charlton to show up and make you feel better about the position because right now you don't feel good. They've done a great job of putting this roster together. It's up to the coaching staff to make it work.

Rob: The secondary is the spot that could look very different a year from now because so many players currently have expiring deals. I don't see this as a concern at defensive end. Robert Quinn is on a one-year deal, but several guys have more than one year left on their contracts. DeMarcus Lawrence just got an extension. Tyrone Crawford is signed through 2020. They can keep Taco Charlton and Dorance Armstrong through 2021. They just drafted Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks.