Packers Deem Starter ‘Game-Time Decision,’ 3 Others Questionable

Packers Bucs Final IReport

Getty Za'Darius Smith #55 of the Green Bay Packers jogs off the field after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 30-16 at Lambeau Field on October 05, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Packers will have back a pair of Pro Bowlers for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but injuries could end up keeping another few defensive starters off the field.

The Packers have ruled four players — including starting cornerback Kevin King (quad) and top pass rusher Za’Darius Smith (ankle) — questionable to play against the Bucs in their final injury report for Week 6. They have also already declared out return specialist Tyler Ervin, who did not practice all week with a wrist injury.

King returned to practice Friday after not participating in the first two sessions of the week, but Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said his No. 2 corner will be a “game-time decision” with an injury leftover from Week 4’s win against the Atlanta Falcons. If King is unable to go, slot cornerback Chandon Sullivan would be the most likely candidate to replace him as the starter opposite Jaire Alexander.

Meanwhile, Smith is dealing with an ankle injury that limited him throughout Week 4; though, he ended up playing against that game against the Falcons and getting named NFC Defensive Player of the Week with a season-high three sacks, five quarterback hits and eight total tackles. He was limited in Friday’s final practice after being full-go earlier in the week, but the move could simply be precautionary for an important piece of the Packers defense.

The Packers have also listed fellow pass rusher Rashan Gary (ankle) and defensive lineman Montravius Adams (neck) as questionable to play against the Bucs. Gary missed Week 4’s game with the same injury, while Adams was added to the injury report Thursday with a new issue that held him out of Thursday’s practice.

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Kenny Clark & Davante Adams ‘Ready to Go’

On the bright side, the Packers are expecting to have wide receiver Davante Adams and nose tackle Kenny Clark back on the field this Sunday, which would be the first time both players were active for them since the season opener.

Clark, the NFL’s highest-paid nose tackle, strained his groin during the first half of Week 1’s win over the Minnesota Vikings after his foot slipped awkwardly on the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium. He has been slowly ramping up in practice, but this marks the first time since he was hurt that he has not been given an injury designation for a game.

Adams’ return has been a little more predictable, as the star wide receiver seemed capable of getting back on the field in Week 4 but was held out to give him another two weeks (with the bye) to get his body right for the rest of the season. He caught a franchise-record 14 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings in Week 1 and figures to once again be the favored pass-catcher for quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.

Goodwin & Evans Cleared for Bucs

The Bucs began the week with Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin — Tom Brady’s top wideouts — dealing with some injury concerns, but no such worries will follow them into Sunday’s matchup with the Packers. Despite limitations in practice, neither of them were given injury designations and will both be available to challenge a Packers secondary that could be King-less.

Still, three Bucs were ruled questionable to play against the Packers: cornerback Carlton Davis, defensive lineman Khalil Davis and running back Leonard Fournette.

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