In a strange Thursday night victory by the Green Bay Packers over the Chicago Bears, there was a lightning delay, a few bizarre plays and one scary one, with wide receiver Davante Adams being sent to the hospital following a brutal hit.
But the weirdness extended to players who were not even part of the action at one point. Packers CB Damarious Randall started the game and played extensively in the first half. Then he was nowhere to be found by the time the game eventually ended.
Randall was on the field for 29 defensive snaps out of a possible 31, making five tackles (including one for a loss), in the first 30 minutes of the game. But he never saw the field again after allowing a touchdown in the final moments of the first half to Bears WR Kendall Wright. CB Josh Hawkins took his spot and played out the string.
Randall was seen on the sideline at the start of the third quarter being consoled by teammates. At some point, though, he no longer was with his teammates — and it was for at least the entire fourth quarter, possibly more.
After the game, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called it an "internal matter" and said the team was dealing with the situation. The team confirmed that Randall did not suffer an injury; it was not entirely clear if Randall left the bench area on his own volition or if he was told to head into the locker room.
It's also not known if Randall had any kind of verbal exchange with a coach or player on the sideline, but he did appear to show up one of his teammates by throwing up his hands after the touchdown. Randall looked in the direction of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was the only safety in coverage on the play. Clinton-Dix faked like he was blitzing in a cover-0 pressure but dropped out at the snap. It's not clear what the call was, but the Packers rushed five and played man defense on the play.
Randall has been at a crossroads after appearing to take a step back last season and has been needing to show the Packers that he can be a front-line corner after they used a first-round selection on him in 2015. So far, his draft status hasn't matched his performance on the field consistently.
We spoke with one Packers source who refused to indicate what happened with Randall during or after the game. Asked what the consequences might be during the Packers' extended break before their Week 5 game next Sunday, the source deferred to McCarthy and said "it's coach's call."
That would suggest that the team's brass will sit down and decide what the best course of action might be — a benching, a suspension or perhaps even releasing Randall — or whether any discipline will be needed.
With all the injuries the Packers are facing, this situation is the last thing they need. Yes, they're 3-1, which puts them in a good spot all things considered. But a distraction like thing coming at a time when the team already is shorthanded really puts the Packers in a bind.