Davante Adams won’t be taking the field for the Green Bay Packers on Monday night and didn’t sound too happy about it when he broke the news earlier in the morning with a since-deleted tweet.
— Belly Up Sports (@BellyUpSports) October 5, 2020
“Sorry fans and friends I won’t be on the field tonight,” Adams wrote in the morning tweet he quickly took down. “I’ve done everything I need to do and prove I’m ready but I guess I don’t know my body as well as others. Good luck out there my boys.”
Adams had been listed as questionable for Week 4’s home game against the Atlanta Falcons with a hamstring injury, one that kept him sidelined since the third quarter of Week 2’s win over the Detroit Lions. The 27-year-old star wide receiver was, however, able to practice all week in a limited capacity and stood a chance of returning in prime time.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had told reporters Saturday the team would be giving him up until kickoff — which was pushed back to 7:50 p.m. CT to accommodate another schedule change — but it is possible the upcoming bye in Week 5 could have factored into the decision. The Packers have still not officially ruled out Adams.
“I will be making sure that I feel normal like I did before it happened before I step out there, so we’re doing our thing to make sure that’s the case,” Adams told reporters Thursday after practice.
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Adams’ Frustrations Not a Bad Thing for Packers
It isn’t hard to understand why Adams would be frustrated with a decision to leave him on the sideline if he feels ready to play again. Beyond being an elite competitor, he would’ve been facing off against a Falcons defense that has allowed the second-most total yards (463.3), passing yards (350.3) and points (36) in the NFL coming into Monday’s game.
That doesn’t mean the Packers aren’t making the right call.
If anything, those poor numbers from the Falcons only reinforce the Packers’ decision to rest Adams for another week. The Packers have been dominant offensively for three straight weeks, much of that time spent without Adams. He caught just three passes for 36 yards in Week 2 before coming out of the game, while others like Aaron Jones, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Robert Tonyan have stepped up majorly.
Even with Lazard now joining fellow wideout Equanimeous St. Brown on injured reserve, the Packers are still armed with enough offensive talent to bring down one of the bottom two defenses in the league on their home turf. A heavier run approach could always be an option with not only Jones but Jamaal Williams, Tyler Ervin and second-round rookie AJ Dillon in the backfield. Help could also come from players like Darrius Shepherd, Malik Taylor or Jace Sternberger if their roles increase with fewer top wideouts available.
"I understand Davante is frustrated, he probably felt like he was ready to play..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 5, 2020
Don’t waste time reading into Adams’ frustrations, either. He may not be happy about spending another game as a spectator, but it isn’t uncommon for an NFL medical staff to err on the safe side with star players and do whatever they can to ensure their health for late in the season.
Adams has also continually praised the rest of the offense during his absence and feels less pressure to be rushed back onto the field than last year when he missed four games with a turf toe injury.
“I’m proud of the guys, by the way,” Adams added Thursday, “just the way that they approach the game. It makes it easier for me to not feel rushed to come back. The type of attention to detail they’ve come with and the way they finish in practice, just the next step that I can see that a lot of guys have taken. Last year, I may have been trying to rush back a little bit quicker, but just seeing the way that they’ve handled success or handled people going down and how they just jump straight up, that next-man-up mentality, makes it a lot easier for me to make sure that I get all the way right before I come back.”