After patiently waiting for more than a month, the Green Bay Packers are reportedly close to getting their star wide receiver back on the field.
It just isn’t going to happen Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Davante Adams is expected to miss his fourth straight game with a turf toe injury Sunday night against the Chiefs, but the Packers think it is likely he’ll return during Week 9’s road game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The dynamic wideout has not played since getting injured Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles, racking up a monstrous 10 catches for 180 yards before exiting the game.
Adams, who was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report, was living up to his reputation as the Packers’ leading receiver with a team-high 25 catches and 378 yards before the injury sidelined him. The passing game has felt his absence ever since despite the team winning each game played without him.
Missing Sunday’s 7:20 p.m. CT kickoff against the Chiefs will mark the first time in Adams’ six-year career in the NFL that he has missed more than three games in a single season.
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To say the Packers offense has done things by committee without Adams would be an understatement, as 12 players have multiple catches and seven have carried the ball at least twice. Still, there have been a few wideouts that have risen above the rest.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a starter even before Adams went out, emerging as the No. 2 option ahead of four-year veteran Geronimo Allison coming into the season. While an increased need for him in the offense hasn’t exactly seen his production soar, he has managed to eclipse 400 receiving yards through seven games and has a lead-leaguing five catches for more than 40 yards.
Logic made Allison seem like the next-best option behind Valdes-Scantling, but the results simply haven’t been there in regular doses. Part of that is because of the concussion and neck injury he sustained Week 6 that nearly kept him out last week, though it also has something to do with him dropping a number of catchable passes.
The real gem picked from Adams’ absence, however, has second-year receiver Allen Lazard. He took just two games to surpass 100 receiving yards after making just one catch during his rookie season in 2018. He also has the reputation of being reliable in crunch-time situations. His 35-yard touchdown pass did, after all, help the Packers knock off the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.
Any of the three of them could become heavily involved Sunday night against the Chiefs, while tight end Jimmy Graham and running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have also proved viable options. Rodgers certainly doesn’t mind spreading his attention between multiple targets as different pass-catchers hauled in each of his five touchdown passes last week.
The good news for the Packers (6-1) is their passing game should be in great form if Adams returns next week with a battle-tested group of pass-catchers. And with a defense that remains much improved from previous seasons, he might be coming back for more than just the rest of the regular season.