GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Richard Sherman may not be a one-sided cornerback, after all.
If the Seattle Seahawks line up Sherman in the slot again on Sunday night against Green Bay, one of the best defensive backs in the league might face one of the top slot receivers in the game in the Packers' Randall Cobb.
It just might be the top matchup within the matchup of NFC powers at Lambeau Field.
"He's an exceptional player whether they line him out at the slot or outside," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "He'd probably play safety if you wanted him to, he can do it all."
Sherman and Cobb might each have some added motivation beyond coming up with a big night against premier competition.
Cobb seems to be improving from a sprained right shoulder, an injury that occurred in the third preseason game. Still, he was somewhat limited with the routes he could run in the Packers' season opener against the Chicago Bears, though he finished with five catches for 38 yards and a touchdown.
The competitive Cobb is at his best over the middle, and as a go-to option for Rodgers on third downs. He won't shirk from a potential matchup against Sherman.
"He's still the same player. It's a lot more space that he has to work with, so it's just a little different," Cobb said. "He'll have to cover a little bit more ground, but they're still playing the same defense."
Well, not quite the same, at least based on Seattle's 34-31 loss last week in overtime to the St. Louis Rams.
Without safety Kam Chancellor, who is a contract holdout, the middle of the defense was exposed against the pass. Now the Seahawks have to face an even more potent offense featuring Rodgers and Cobb.
Perhaps another week of Sherman in the slot might at least take away Cobb as an option for the MVP quarterback, though Sherman doesn't think that Rodgers is afraid of throwing in his direction.
"No, I don't think anybody's afraid of me. I don't know. Maybe it's just in his progressions, other guys may have come open," Sherman said.
Sherman was asked to start learning the responsibilities of covering the slot in Seattle's scheme just six days before the opener. It flies against the criticism aimed at Sherman at times by other players that the cornerback only played one side of the field.
"He likes it, there's a lot going on, there's a lot to learn for him in there as well," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Against the Packers' common three-receiver sets, that likely means Sherman will face off against Cobb.
Or maybe Sherman might move on to covering James Jones if Jones has another day like his two-touchdown performance against Chicago. Or he could cover promising receiver Davante Adams, who was targeted a team-high eight times last week.
Rodgers will be watching.
"Richard, he's kind of a different animal, he can do it all. Outside or inside —he's got great ball skills, intelligent, understands route concepts really well," Rodgers said. "You've got to figure out where he's at every play."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP