DALLAS – Another chapter in the legend of Davante Adams was written Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
Only 10 days after being stretchered off the field following a brutal hit from Chicago linebacker Danny Trevathan, the Packers' fourth-year receiver was back after clearing the concussion protocol in time to play against Dallas.
As astonishing as it was for him to even suit up against the Cowboys, Adams proceeded to catch a team-high seven passes with none more important than his game-winning 12-yard touchdown reception with 11 seconds remaining in the Packers' 35-31 victory.
The Packers actually ran the same exact play one snap earlier, on first-and-10 at the Dallas 12, with Rodgers missing Adams low on the back-shoulder fade. As Adams went back to the line of scrimmage, the two decided to try the pass again.
This time, Rodgers put it higher and Adams caught the touchdown, his second of the day.
"I came back and let him know, 'Do it again. Let's go back to it,'" Adams said. "He gave me that look and I was like, 'Let's do it again.' He threw it over there and threw a perfect ball. I didn't really have to do much."
As ugly as the hit looked on film – it earned Trevathan a one-game suspension after appeal – Adams felt fine in the hours afterward. He never experienced any headaches and no symptoms surfaced when he practiced Wednesday and Thursday.
Adams said he was cleared from the protocol on Friday afternoon. Still, nobody would've faulted Adams if he'd preferred to sit out a week and gather himself.
However, that isn't his style. Once he was cleared to play, it was all-systems go.
"You always consider it but there's no point in sitting out when you're feeling great," said Adams, speaking to the media for the first time since the Trevathan hit. "You're not going to keep taking DayQuil if the cough is gone. I felt great and it was time to go do it."
While it may have stunned some teammates and coaches to see Adams bounce back as quickly as he did from the hit, it didn't surprise anyone to see the fourth-year receiver have the type of game he had against the Cowboys in his first game back.
Adams, who didn't appear to be on any type of rep count, caught the first pass for the Packers' offense Sunday and finished an eight-play, 75-yard opening series with a 10-yard touchdown grab.
He also caught a 7-yard pass from Rodgers near the sideline to convert a critical third-and-5 before the two-minute warning in the first half, setting up Aaron Jones' eventual 7-yard touchdown run.
Receiver Randall Cobb, who was one of the teammates who visited Adams in the hospital last week, praised Adams' performance in the wake of the hit from Trevathan, Cobb's former teammate at the University of Kentucky.
"It's the mental approach to what we do," Cobb said. "We take a chance every time we step out on the field and to have a hit like that 10 days ago and be back on the field, and playing the way that he did making plays across the board. And finishing the game for us. That's huge. I think that speaks to a level of mental toughness to be able to go through that and come out on the winning side."
Adams said Cobb and the Packers' public relations staff helped put him in communication with Trevathan this past week, with the Bears linebacker issuing him an apology via text.
When asked about the hit after Sunday's win, Adams said he carries no ill will toward Trevathan.
"Danny, I wouldn't say he's a dirty player at all," Adams said. "Over the week, you kind of hear a lot about people with different inputs. It's definitely unnecessary. You don't want those type of hits in the game, but he's not that type of guy. It was just a mistake and I guess that's why they allowed him to appeal it."
Adams' toughness and resiliency has been well-documented in Green Bay. He's battled through ankle and knee injuries in the past without complaint. He also was cleared from a concussion last year on a short week prior to his 13-catch, 132-yard performance against the Bears last season.
When the Packers turned to him again Sunday, Adams did everything in his power to deliver. "I wouldn't even say it was hard because I had so much support from the family and the team," Adams said. "All the staff and everybody were there and let me know. We take it slow and go about things. They were kind of shocked I was letting them know that I didn't have any headaches, symptoms or anything, that I felt great all throughout the week. It was all just working out and running and doing things to see if the symptoms would start up a little bit, but I felt great."
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