Davante Adams proud of how Packers’ offense has stepped up in his absence

WR Davante Adams
WR Davante Adams

GREEN BAY – Davante Adams isn’t making any bold predictions for when he’ll be back on the field for the Packers.

However, what the two-time Pro Bowl receiver can say with certainty is he’s feeling significantly better three weeks removed from the turf toe injury he suffered against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 26.

“It’s not even close,” Adams said. “It’s a million times better. I’m able to do a lot more movement in it, more range of motion. That’s the type of stuff that I need. It’s a good sign for me to get back.”

Adams, who has missed Green Bay’s last two games, was in midst of a 10-catch, 180-yard career day against the Eagles before his foot bent awkwardly late in the fourth quarter.

Explosiveness is a key aspect of Adams’ game, making the idea of playing through turf toe a tricky proposition. Although Adams has yet to practice since the Eagles game, he’s still not ruling himself out for this Sunday’s game against Oakland.

Asked whether the Kansas City game on Oct. 27 was realistic, Adams told reporters, “Honestly, I can’t tell you. This week is not out of the question. Next week's not of the question,” before adding in a joking tone, “The week after that, it's gonna be day-to-day.”

In Adams’ absence, the Packers’ offense has managed to put up 57 points the past two weeks en route to wins over Dallas and Detroit, the latter of which gave Green Bay sole possession of first place in the NFC North at 5-1.

The Packers have accomplished that feat due to the collective effort of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a wide variety of skill-position players stepping up at an opportune time.

That reservoir took a hit this week, though, with starting receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion/chest) also sitting out of practice with Adams on Thursday.

Head Coach Matt LaFleur said the team will take the full week to let the injury situation sort itself out, while the offensive coaches are planning for a multitude of scenarios Sunday.

“I think it’s a case-by-case basis,” said LaFleur on how the team goes about determining whether players can play without practicing. “Obviously, even with Davante, you want him out there for practice, if he’s going to play in a game. Just to make sure that he’s confident in what he’s doing, but it is what it is.

“You’ve just got to try to prepare guys the best you can, whether it’s by walking through or whether they’re getting those live reps.”

The Packers on Wednesday signed veteran Ryan Grant, with whom Adams has history. He and Grant were both selections in the 2014 NFL Draft and share a common receivers coach, Keith Williams, who coached Adams at Fresno State and Grant at Tulane.

The other ace Green Bay found up its sleeve in Sunday’s 23-22 comeback win over the Lions was first-year receiver Allen Lazard, who had four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown to spark the offense in the final 10 minutes.

Adams was thrilled for Lazard’s success and also was there to provide words of encouragement to Darrius Shepherd after the rookie receiver muffed a punt and fell down near the goal line on a play that resulted in an interception against the Lions.

Along with tapping into their depth at running back and tight end, the Packers may need to lean on Lazard, Shepherd, Grant and Jake Kumerow against Oakland depending on how the week goes.

The Green Bay Packers practiced at Ray Nitschke Field before the Week 7 clash with the Raiders on Sunday.

“It’s always a next-man-up mentality, so I mean it’s not going to change now,” Adams said. “Having us three down right now is tough and it’s putting the team in a tough situation, but I mean, it’s next man up. We’ve got other guys who are extremely capable so they just gotta rise to the occasion.”

Meanwhile, Adams is doing everything possible to strengthen the ligaments in his toe and prepare for a return. Admittedly anxious after missing only six games through his first five NFL seasons, Adams also sees the big picture. 

“The only way to know that it’s ready is by testing it,” Adams said. “So I’ve got to get out and obviously simulate some stuff for the coaches and for the training staff to let them know I’m ready to go. We’re getting there.”

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