Davante Adams has run routes alongside a number of decorated pass-catchers in his six seasons with the Green Bay Packers, spending time opposite both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb before ascending to the top role on the depth chart.
According to the Packers star wideout, though, the team’s receiving room has never been more diverse than it currently is now with production in the passing game coming from all across the board. While Adams leads with 52 catches for 644 yards, he is one of just five Packers with at least 300 receiving yards on the season and among one of nine to catch a touchdown pass this season from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“This has been the most spread out its ever been in the wideout room for us,” Adams told reporters Wednesday. “I made mention to it before the (last) game … as far as the snap counts, I think that is probably the most diverse it’s ever been. Guys are getting opportunities and making the most of them, so we’re just all trying to spread the wealth and make plays.”
Second-year wideout Allen Lazard seemed to exemplify that sentiment with a career-best performance in Week 13’s road win over the New York Giants, coming up with several big-league catches in crucial moments for the Packers that drew praise from Rodgers and his teammates. Lazard finished with a team-high 103 yards on three catches, including a 37-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
Lazard, who came into the season with a single catch, has made opposing defenses pay with an average of 15.0 yards on 22 receptions. If other teams haven’t caught on yet, Adams believes it will only be a matter of time before they wise up.
“I think people kind of disrespected (him) at first because you might not know who he is, a younger player that hasn’t really been established yet,” Adams said. “Obviously, as he starts to develop more and contribute more, they’ll start to have to take notice of that and eventually lead to less doubles and more opportunities for me.”
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Packers Still Searching for No. 2 Receiver
Spreading the ball around has helped fuel success for the Packers (9-3) this season, but Adams’ four-game absence with a turf toe injury raised a question that was never really answered before he returned: Who is the Packers’ No. 2 wide receiver?
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, another second-year player, was the favorite for that role coming out of training camp. He made 16 catches in the first four games of the season and seemed poised for larger responsibility with Adams injured, but his role has steadily shrunk to the point where he has just one reception over his past four performances — and just eight targets.
Geronimo Allison is the next-most veteran players on the roster, but his usage in the slot role has been limited while his hands have also betrayed him with a number of bad drops.
The Packers offense, though, counts itself fortunate to have a pair of pass-catching rushers in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, as the tandem has combined for 75 catches, 594 yards and eight touchdowns in the passing game. Williams’ five receiving touchdowns are actually two more than any other wideout on the roster.
“You’ve just got to let it come to you,” Adams said prior to Week 13’s win. “I think you make plays best in this league when you don’t force it. You just kind of go with what works and something that’s been working with this team well is moving it around, spreading it around to different guys, sharing the wealth, getting Aaron Jones involved. Obviously, he’s been a big part of our success this year.”